In this talk, journalist Mark Arax will discuss how California’s capture of land and water is the story of a people’s defiance of nature and the wonders and devastation it has wrought. It’s a tale of magic and madness in the arid West, of genocide and endless extraction, of redirected rivers and ever higher dams and deeper wells, of imported workers left behind in the sun and the fatigued earth made to give more even as it keeps sinking. Audience Q&A and a reception will follow.
Mark Arax has been called a “21st-Century John Steinbeck” for his books that pry open the soul of California. A writer of essays, history, biography, and journalism, he is a two-time winner of the California Book Award and a recipient of Stanford University’s William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His most recent work, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California, a national bestseller, has been hailed by critics as one of the most important books ever written about the West.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Imagining California series and the Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment