Friday, February 17, 2006

Who Was Carey McWilliams?

Good question. He's the most important American writer you've probably never heard of, especially if you were born after 1960. (If you were born before then, you might remember that he edited The Nation from 1955-1975.) He was also the most versatile American public intellectual of the twentieth century. And Kevin Starr says he's "the single finest non-fiction writer on California--ever." Movie buffs might know that one of his books inspired Robert Towne's Oscar-winning screenplay for Chinatown.

But there's a lot more to be said about this man and his achievements. If you'd like to help answer the question above, I hope you'll join the conversation. The links to the right provide some background information. Several have to do with my book, American Prophet: The Life and Work of Carey McWilliams, and the UCLA talk will give you the headline version of McWilliams's years in California.

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