Kevin Starr and Westways
We have a new entry in the McWilliams sweepstakes: Kevin Starr, who contributed a piece on C-Mac to the current issue of Westways, the AAA magazine of Southern California, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Kevin describes McWilliams's monthly column, "Tides West," which ran in Westways during the 1930s.
All nicely done, of course, though Kevin tactfully omits the fact that Westways fired McWilliams after Ruth Comfort Mitchell, the wife of a Republican state senator, objected to his politics. McWilliams applauded John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath in the pages of Westways, while Mitchell responded to it by writing Of Human Kindness, a novel that depicted virtuous family farmers and depraved labor union organizers.
I drew heavily from Kevin's books to produce my McWilliams bio. He, in turn, wrote a short (and humorous) foreword for my pamphlet, based on my Bonnie Cashin lecture at UCLA, on Carey McWilliams and the politics of cool.
Labels: Carey McWilliams