CALIFORNIA: It Is Still America's Promised Land --

A place of heartstopping beauty, spectacular energy and stunning diversity. But faced with drought, mindless growth and a sputtering economy, can it preserve the dream?

If America is the land where the world goes in search of miracles and redemption, California is the land where Americans go. It is America's America, the symbol of raw hope and brave (even foolish) invention, where ancient traditions and inhibitions are abandoned at the border. Its peculiar culture squirts out -- on film and menus and pages and television beams -- the trends and tastes that sweep the rest of the country, and then the rest of the world. If California broke off and dissolved in salt water, America would lose its seasoning.

And so the rough awakening is more...

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