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3 5 4 W e s t e r n A m e r i c a n L i t e r a t u r e F a l l 2 0 0 6 time away from home pursuing various business interests, bootlegging being, if not the most lucrative, certainly the most dangerous. Any possible criticisms about the book are minimal. The narration shifts back and forth from past to present tense when she shifts from her childhood voice to another, presumably adult, voice that gives background information and facts that have been determined only through research she or her family members have compiled as adults. Her childhood voice is often successful but sometimes leaves Cimarolli’s narration without the possible reflection that could lend perspective and distinctiveness to her memories. When she does reflect as an adult, it is mostly to speculate about family mysteries for which she has no real answers and sometimes seemingly no real evidence for her speculation . The narration has a certain sitting-around-the-family-table quality, which could be either gratifying or anachronistic depending on the audience and how many times they themselves have heard similar stories. But these can be forgiven as one forgives an older relative when she is recollecting her youth. The warmth and intimacy of the narration easily make up for any lack of edge it may have. After reading The Bootlegger’s Other Daughter, you may feel an urge to send a copy to your grandparents— or your grandchildren. The Land of Orange Qroves and Jails: Upton Sinclair's California. Edited by Lauren Coodley. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 2004. 309 pages, $19.95. Qunfight at M ussel Slough: Evolution of a Western Myth. Edited by Terry Beers. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 2004. 215 pages, $16.95. Reviewed by Lawrence Coates Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio A s anyone who has done research on the past knows, an anthology of original documents from a period is an invaluable tool. A good anthologist will have picked out the most striking and important documents to reprint and, in addi­ tion, will have provided the footnotes and citations to enable other researchers to spend their own time in the archives and follow up on their particular inter­ ests. A good anthology is also a pleasure in and of itself, making available writ­ ing that has been out of print and providing a fresh context through insightful editorial commentary. Santa Clara University has teamed with Heyday Books to produce a series of important volumes in their California Legacy Series. Some of these are reprints of notable books for the study of California, such as Dame Shirley’s The Shirley Letters (1998) or William Lewis Manly’s Death Valley in ’49 (2001), while others are new anthologies of published or unpublished documents, such as Fool’s Paradise: A Carey McWilliams Reader (2001) or the two books here B o o k r e v i e w s 3 5 5 under review, The Land of Orange Groves and Jails: Upton Sinclair’s California and Gunfight at Mussel Slough: Evolution ofa Western Myth. TheLand ofOrange Groves andJails brings to the foreground Upton Sinclair’s writing as well as his political activity in California. The editor, Lauren Coodley, notes that most people remember Sinclair as the muckraking writer who exposed the Chicago meatpacking industry in his 1906 novel TheJungle, but her anthol­ ogy and her commentary make a powerful argument that he should also be con­ sidered an important social critic of life in California during periods of immense change, as well as an astute observer of the growth of mass media. Sinclair wrote prolifically and choosing from among his many works must have been a daunting task. One important strand Coodley picks out is the com­ bination of his writing with social activism. For instance, she highlights his involvement with the 1923 dockworkers’ strike in San Pedro, during which he was arrested while reading aloud the United States Constitution. She repro­ duces an open letter that Sinclair wrote to the Los Angeles Chief of Police and also the first act of SingingJailbirds, a play set in the jail holding the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 354-356
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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