For much of the past century California was the envy of the continent, not just for what nature had made but for what civil society had created: speedy freeways, well-supported schools, the world's best public university system, public works that made the desert bloom. Not any more. California's public works and social services are crumbling, and public education has plunged from the top to near-bottom in nationwide measures. How could the American dream go so wrong so fast? Originally published in 1998, Peter Schrag's view of California seems as applicable as ever. In his new preface to the 2004 edition, Schrag updates the California scene and considers the fallout from such political earthquakes as the 2003 recall election.