California is a state that's the size of a nation — more diverse than almost any place else, with the world's eighth largest economy and increasing interdependence with other countries. But it's inwardly focused, and it's failing to exercise global influence or to act in its own interest. That's according to Abraham Lowenthal, former head of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He's written the book, Global California: Rising to the Cosmopolitan Challenge, hoping to ”change the mindset” of California. Los Angeles Times financial writer James Flanigan has written on similar themes. His new book is Smile Southern California, You're the Center of the Universe: The Economy and People of a Global Region.