How California's History Might Inform America's Future

May 24, 2019

This interview originally aired in November, 2018.

California has long been a bellwether of the country’s progressive and reactionary politics. But the state that introduced us to Ronald Reagan and Harvey Milk has also confronted many of the challenges the rest of the country now faces, decades before the rest of us.


In his book, State of Resistance, sociologist Manuel Pastor describes the roller coaster of California politics, economy, and culture over the past half-century. Pastor makes the case for addressing generational and racial differences and renewing our commitment to public investment and community organizing, with California leading the charge.

Mr. Manuel Pastor is a professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and as co-director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Mr. Pastor has received Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships as well as the 2012 Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year award from the Liberty Hill Foundation in Los Angeles.