In Search of the ‘Tomato King’

Finding a Mexican Migrant Politician, Rooted in California Soil

There is only one person more obsessed than I when it comes to the memory of Don Andrés Bermúdez: his son, Andrés Junior. Junior lives with his family in the place where he came of age, a spacious ranch home his father acquired in 1993, on the outskirts of Winters, California, in the western Sacramento Valley.

In a nod to his Catholic upbringing, Junior crosses himself when he passes the town cemetery, where his father is buried. He bought the burial plot adjacent to his father’s, so that he can be …

Sisson Callahan Trail

Where I Go: Hiking the Mountain That Almost Killed John Muir

Finding an Adventure Story and a Portal to the Past Beneath Mount Shasta

The great outdoor adventurer John Muir—who had skipped over glaciers in Alaska, surfed an avalanche, and gleefully rode a wildly swaying tree in a storm in the Sierras—lay in a …

California graves

Does the Recall Matter if Republicans Already Run California?

Whatever Happens in September Won’t Change the Fact That the State Is Ruled by GOP Members From Beyond the Grave

The big narratives around the recall campaign are wrong—because the things we, Californians, think we know about California governance are wrong.

The Republicans who want to remove Gavin Newsom from office …

Searching for William Randolph Hearst’s Mystical Mountain Retreat

Searching for William Randolph Hearst’s Mystical Mountain Retreat

The Story of Wyntoon, on the Slopes of Mount Shasta, Is the Stuff of Myth—Which May Be the Point of the Place

Wyntoon can’t possibly be real, right?

It’s preposterous to think that William Randolph Hearst needed a second summer retreat to get away from the ultimate California retreat, his castle at San …

Chasing the Sun’s Medicinal Rays | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Chasing the Sun’s Medicinal Rays

At the Turn of the 20th Century, Southern California Became a Testing Ground for Healthy Living

Southern California has long attracted those seeking a mild climate, a healthy lifestyle, and sunshine. According to Lyra Kilston, author of Sun Seekers: The Cure of California, the origins of …