Right Out of California (Paperback)

The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism

By Kathryn S. Olmsted

New Press, 9781620973066, 336pp.

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/13/2015)

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Olmsted's vivid, accomplished narrative really belongs to the historiography of the left... as her strong research shows, race and gender prejudice informed or deformed, almost the whole of American social and cultural life in the 1930s and was as common on the left as on the right."
--The New York Times Book Review

NOW IN PAPERBACK An "arresting" (In These Times) new history of modern American conservatism, uncovering its roots in the turbulent agricultural fields of Depression-era California

In a reassessment of modern conservatism, noted historian Kathryn S. Olmsted reexamines the explosive labor disputes in the agricultural fields of Depression-era California, the cauldron that inspired a generation of artists and writers and triggered the intervention of FDR's New Deal. Right Out of California, which received a full-page review in the New York Times when it was published in hardcover, tells how this brief moment of upheaval terrified business leaders into rethinking their relationship to American politics--a narrative that pits a ruthless generation of growers against a passionate cast of reformers, writers, and revolutionaries.

At a time when a resurgent immigrant labor movement is making urgent demands on twenty-first-century America--and when a new and virulent strain of right-wing anti-immigrant populism is roiling the political waters--Right Out of California is a fresh and profoundly relevant touchstone for anyone seeking to understand the roots of our current predicament.

About the Author

Kathryn S. Olmsted is chair of the history department at the University of California, Davis. A historian of anticommunism, she is the author of several books, including Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI, Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley, and Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11.