In 1542, Spanish explorers landed upon the shores of Southern California expecting to find a terrestrial paradise, and instead, found only a burnt-over desert. But during a four-hundred-year-long metamorphosis carried out by thousands of dissimilar individuals of far-flung imagination and fixed purpose, Southern California was transformed into the nation's most promised land: a tangible symbol of all the best life had to offer in mid-twentieth-century America. And at that glorious pinnacle of middle-class, suburban grace, it would remain no more than twenty years. But to this very day, it is those few years that continue to define the image and culture of Southern California in the imaginations of people from all around the world. California Pop tells the tale of how this once reviled region became one of the most celebrated slivers of coastline on the planet.