Boom Gets “Best of 2011” Nod from Library Journal

In its first year of publication, Boom: A Journal of California has been named one of the Best Magazines of 2011 by the prestigious Library Journal.

Headed by Louis Warren, W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History, and Carolyn de la Peña, Professor of American Studies, Boom aims to create dialogue about the vital cultural, social, and political issues of our time in California and beyond.

Library Journal praises Boom as “an engaging and visually attractive forum for scholars and artists to describe some of California’s remarkable stories. It brings history and social sciences to life with readable scholarship that will not only please scholars and entertain general readers but also interest patrons well beyond California’s borders.”

Scholarly but accessible, thoughtful and provocative but at times playful, Boom grapples with the crises facing California by gathering perspectives from scholars, writers, journalists, photographers, and independent researchers.

The first five issues have covered topics including California design, immigration, the natural and built environment, and the state of crisis in California. In the spring 2012 special issue, guest editors Christina Cogdell and Stuart Kendall presented a collection of articles, interviews, and images exploring “the centrality of design to California politics and culture.”

The winter 2011 issue contemplated immigration. Articles framed California and the rest of the United States as a place of shifting boundaries in every sense of the term. Stories about Mexican guest workers and a former Los Angeles gang member turned painter ran alongside a first-person narrative revealing the gritty underside of work in California’s world-famous wine country.

Scholarly articles anchor each issue and set the stage for rich images and shorter, often informal works. Boom bridges the gap between scholarly and popular publications, aiming to speak not only to the academic community but to the broader public in California and beyond.

“We’re so grateful that Library Journal has honored us this way,” said editors Warren and de la Peña. “Our goal has been to offer scholarly insights on matters of pressing concern in California today, and to enrich public conversations about where our state has been and where it should be going. The fact that Boom has been judged one of the best new magazines in the country suggests what a valuable conversation that is.”

To find out more about Boom and to subscribe, please visit