'King of California' authors come to Exeter

By Reggie Ellis

No man single-handedly dictated the future of the Central Valley's landscape more than James Griffin Boswell II.

The Cotton King from Kings County is a conundrum. Is he a philanthropic farmer whose innovations and vision ensured employment for hundreds of hungry workers? Or, is he an agri-business baron whose hunger for land holdings destroyed the largest natural wetlands this side of the Mississippi and Corcoran, the city built in its place?

"No landscape in America - not the cotton South, not the grain belt of the Midwest, not the cane fields of Florida - had been more altered by the hand of agriculture."

The excerpt is from "The King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire." Authors Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman will be in Exeter for a book signing at 2 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Exeter Veterans Memorial Building. The signing will be held in conjunction with the Tulare County Historical Society annual meeting. C-SPAN and Channel 26 are expected to be present. The event is open to the public.

For the complete story pick up a copy of the Lindsay Gazette newspaper.

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