Kevin Starr is the California State Librarian Emeritus and University Professor of History at the University of Southern California, where he researches California history, history of American culture, urban history and government. More than 30 years in the making, his six-volume book series titled AMERICANS AND THE CALIFORNIA DREAM captures the enigmatic blend of dreams and hardscrabble reality that loosely define California. To date, Starr’s books uncover how the Golden State emerged from the Gold Rush, absorbed the shocks of the Great Depression, and was transformed by the sweeping events of World War II. His current book, COAST OF DREAMS: CALIFORNIA ON THE EDGE: 1990-2003, published by Alfred A. Knopf, addresses the challenges of modern California. Starr, a contributing editor to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, earned his master's and Ph.D. at Harvard University and his master's in library science at the University of California, Berkeley.