Book Talk: “Humbled: How California’s Monterey Bay Escaped Industrial Ruin”

Library Event

Join authors Glenn Church and Kathryn McKenzie for a discussion of their new book, Humbled: How California’s Monterey Bay Escaped Industrial Ruin

Email to register for this Zoom event.

Program hosted by the Monterey County Historical Society.

About the book:

Today, Monterey Bay is a place of beauty and natural splendor, and is protected by federal law as a national marine sanctuary. It’s hard to believe that in the 1960s, plans called for a major industrial complex to be developed at the midpoint of the bay, starting with a refinery that Humble Oil intended as a linchpin of its West Coast operations. 

The building permit sought by the powerful company became the focus of a bitter and protracted conflict that divided the region. Most people in Monterey County wanted the jobs and economic stability that big industry would bring. But a vocal minority fought back hard against the industrialization of the bay. The Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved the permit, but ultimately Humble would never start construction.

The controversy was one of the first major battles of the modern environmental movement, and garnered state and national attention, including coverage in the New York Times. It was a critical turning point for the Monterey Bay, home to hundreds of species of sea life, marine mammals and birds.

This slice of Central Coast history is examined in detail in the new nonfiction book, Humbled: How California’s Monterey Bay Escaped Industrial Ruin, by Glenn Church and Kathryn McKenzie.