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From the Publisher"A marvelous short history of our most populous state...[Wyatt] elegantly employs fire as a metaphor for the five milestone events and phenomena in his survey of California...The later part of Wyatt's account, with all its popular figures, evokes the freshness of an E.L. Doctorow novel. Which means he has created a history you will want to read."—Newsday
"David Wyatt elegantly entwines the public and personal in this elegiac salute to California, our strangest, saddest, most enchanting state."—Carolyn See, author of Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America
"It's a fascinating beginning for the reader taken by this idea of history swept along by flames."—Christian Science Monitor
"Wyatt has looked beyond the plastic Hollywood stereotypes to uncover a rich and wildly diverse history. Five Fires is an urgent retelling of the mythology of the Golden State."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
"A big-picture view of California's history, told with verve and considerable learning...Wyatt has much to relate, and he does so exceptionally well, yielding a happy (and rare) instance when the reader emerges wishing that a longish book would go on just a bit longer."—Kirkus Reviews