Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Field Trip Guidebooks Series, Volume 110.
In the 1988 Summer Olympic games in Seoul, South Korea, the number of medals earned by Californians was exceeded only by Russia and East Germany. California is now the most populous state in the United States of America with a 1986 population of 26,981,000. Its gross economic product is exceeded by only five nations in the world (with the U.S. being 1 of the 5). Yet the real uniqueness of California lies not in simple statistics but in the fluid nature of its social, political and economic life which have turned the state into a leading laboratory of lifestyles which radiate out through the rest of the U.S. and the world.