We Are the Land, A History of Native California

Damon B. Akins and William J. Bauer

UC Press 2021

from the introduction:

The language used to refer to people, any people, is both arbitrary and powerful. It is created, and it creates. Words sit at the center of the contested terrain of cultural sovereignty. As many have pointed out, the term Native Americans, is only slightly more accurate than the term Indians. What does it mean to be a native to a place called “America,” a name imposed on an entire continent by a people who had never seen it, an appellation derived from the corruption of an Italian sailor’s name? Is that any more accurate than a different Italian sailor’s misidentification of a place as India, and its inhabitant, “Indians?” Likewise, what does the term native Californian mean, especially before the idea of California existed?


The Lure of the Local

Lucy R. Lippard

Norton, 1997

On being an artist in and of a place.


A Short History of Sonoma

Lynn Downey

University of Nevada Press, 2013



Conquer and Colonize

Stevenson’s Regiment and California

Donald C. Biggs

Presidio Press, 1977

Are the current American Californians descended from the Gangs of New York?



Josiah Royce

Peregrine Press, 1970

The history of California as seen from 1885, by the first California-born philosopher. Quite a jaundiced view of Fremont and the Bear Flaggers.


River of Shadows : Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West

Solnit, Rebecca

New York : Viking, 2003.

A highly intelligent, impassioned telling of a California story that still reverberates today.  A genius, his tumultuous life, murder and a sensational trial, photography and Indian genocide, and the seeds of the motion picture industry. Amazing.

Two Years Before the Mast

Richard Henry Dana

originally published in 1840. California in the 1830s from a seaman’s point of view.

California Through Native Eyes

Reclaiming History

William J. Bauer Jr.

University of Washington Press, 2016

Presentation and interpretation of interviews of Native Californians done during the Depression.

The Last Woman From Petaluma

Greg Sarris

Wonderful writer, powerful story.

Who Were the First People to Live in the Bay Area?

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