mark arax

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: California going back to the drawing board to deal with their drought.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a piece by local journalist Mark Arax, who describes the huge farm show in Tulare where tractors sell for a quarter million dollars. Arax tells us about the unbelievable variety and staggering volume of farm production right here in the San Joaquin Valley. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, Mark Arax reads from “The King of California.”  This is the story of how some cotton farmers dried out the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi (Tulare Lake) and made it into a huge cotton empire.  The lead grower, J.G. Boswell, believes in making a factory out of the fields and goes by the saying “from the lab to the fields to the gin.”

Segments 1 & 2: Mark Arax - Journalist and author Mark Arax has spent much of his career exposing the dark secrets of life in the Central Valley, from corrupt politicians to secretive land barons. A former senior writer with the LA Times, Arax joins us on this edition of Valley Public Radio’s Quality of Life, to talk about his books, the Valley, and the troubled Fresno Unified School District.