California Here I Come
By Philip L. Fradkin & Alex L. Fradkin
University of California Press, $29.95, 126 pages
Written by Philip L. Fradkin, with accompanying photos taken by his son, Alex L. Fradkin, The Left Coast is a rich and detailed account of the various forces—both natural and man-made—that have come to shape the California coast over the last several decades. Having first come to California from the East Coast in 1960 to eventually become an author and respected environmental historian, Philip Fradkin’s deep relationship to the land and water is illustrated through his own personal experiences, interviews with those who work and live on the coast, and fascinating historical accounts of the events that occurred to make the California coast all of the things it is today: the Wild Coast, the Agricultural Coast, the Residential Coast, the Tourist Coast, the Recreational Coast, the Industrial Coast, the Military Coast and the Political Coast. Set against the backdrop of Alex Fradkin’s poignant images of these many facets that span the eleven hundred miles from the Oregon state line to the Mexican border, The Left Coast is both enlightening and provocative; a necessary read for anyone with even the mildest interest in the preservation of that most wild part of the west.
Reviewed by Alexandra Walford