An Everyday History of Somewhere
This classic, award-winning people's history of California's North Coast is an evocative blend of oral history and narrative. Author Ray Raphael was a teacher in Southern Humboldt County and was fascinated with the diverse rural community he was living and working in. He began interviewing the old timers, then expanded his scope to includes the “back-to-the-landers” who were settling in this rural backwater community. Fascinated by the diverse stories he heard, he expanded the stories into this book, originally published in hardcover by Knopf in 1974. It won The Commonwealth Prize for best nonfiction book of the year about California.
These stories resonate with truth for anyone who has ever visited the area. The interviews capture the essence of rural life in this region at that time, but woven together, the stories conveyed the essence of local history and life. Mark Livingstone’s pen and ink illustrations helped set the tone and enrich the picture. As the subtitle says, "Being the true story of Indians, deer, homesteaders, potatoes, loggers, trees, fishermen, salmon, and other living things in the back woods of Northern California."
Ray Raphael has gone on to write more than a dozen history books, including several about the American Revolution. He was praised for his work by historian Howard Zinn, who eventually became his editor.
"One of the season's real charmers."
192 pages, 8" x 9", 90 illustrations. Published by Bored Feet Press.
ISBN 1-881102-25-4. trade paper
"A beautiful book, beautifully written and organized, beautifully illustrated."
–San Francisco Chronicle
Note on the new printing:
Through a quirk of the printing process, the backmatter was not included in this printing. You can view and download it here.