In part a tour of California as a virtual laboratory for refining the circulation of capital, and in part an investigation of how the state's literati, with rare exception, reconceived economy in the name of class, gender, and racial privilege, this study will appeal to all students and scholars of California'sand the American West'seconomic, environmental, and cultural past.
"From its first wonderful line—'although he was already dead, Frank Norris had a good year in 1909'—to its final question about the role of literature in social change, California and the Fictions of Capital is a brilliant book." —Antipode
"George L. Henderson harnesses two subjects that would pull an ordinary book apart. On the one hand, California and the Fictions of Capital is a work of criticism with its purpose fixed on a number of pastoral novels set in California...On the other hand, it is a work of geography and economic theory, asserting that the circulation of capital through agriculture is the best way to understand the rise of a modern industrial countryside in California...the two work together to form a convincing picture of place...Henderson reads with an eye as sharp as any I have seen." —The Journal of American History
"It is the best historical geography of regional agricultural development available... It finally fulfills the promise of putting theories of space and spatiality at the center of literary criticism, adding a new level of sophistication to the burgeoning cultural studies interest in the relationship between space and representation. And it makes a vitally important contribution to California Studies by providing a means to understand the complex relationship between 'race,' general regional culture, and political economy. On top of that, Henderson writes with admirable clarity and a great deal of panache." —Antipode