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A People's Guide to Los Angeles Paperback – April 23, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“Imagine Howard Zinn, the late renegade professor who gave us ‘A People’s History of the United States,’ kidnapping Huell Howser and rewriting your Auto Club TourBook. . . . But you don’t have to agree with the authors’ politics to be intrigued by their work. Even though I’ve been working on an L.A. guidebook myself for the last 18 months, this ‘People’s Guide’ taught me plenty.”
(Christopher Reynolds Los Angeles Times 2012-06-28)

“High Gas Prices make staycations more inviting, so start planning with ‘A People’s Guide to Los Angeles.” The focus here is on the people, places, struggles and triumphs that make our area unique.”
(Pasadena Star-News 2012-04-01)

“A beautiful collection of short essays, maps, stories, photographs, directions and secret histories.”
(Andrew Tonkovich Oc Weekly: Orange County News, Arts & Ent 2012-04-29)

“An intriguing and important book of alternative tourism.”
(June Sawyers Chicago Tribune 2012-06-17)

“A rare and refreshingly new take on the tourist guidebook. . . . O?ers a more balanced and accurate picture of Los Angeles.”
(Sean Smith Southern California Quarterly 2012-10-09)

“F**k Rodeo Drive: A People's Guide to Los Angeles is an L.A. Guidebook for the 99 Percent.”
(Whitney Friedlander LA Weekly 2012-05-04)

"It should become a permanent feature on bookshelves and course syllabi across the region."
(Stefano Bloch Social & Cultural Geography 2013-06-21)

"A rich, full, and fascinating alternative tour of Los Angeles that is sure to hold something of interest for just about anyone who is curious about the subterranean history and hidden current life of the city . . . a groundbreaking and important project."
(Jim Miller Journal of San Diego History 2013-07-01)

“The masterfully executed book subverts the typical Los Angeles guidebook. . . . It's an invaluable source of little known or forgotten but very necessary L.A. history.”
(Mike Sonksen KCET.org 2012-10-19)

“An indispensable guide for those seeking to understand Los Angeles beyond its well-hyped glitz and glamour.”
(Randy Shaw Beyondchron 2012-05-10)

“We’ve found a great summer read that’s giving us a new perspective on the city we love. It’s got intrigue, action—and enough shocking stories for a miniseries. Plus, it’s all true. . . . Its thoroughly researched, intelligent text is edifying no matter where you stand. And like any good guidebook, there are dining recommendations along the way.”
(Purewow 2012-08-08)

“Offering an interesting alternative to the usual tourist guides, A People’s Guide to Los Angeles is a socio-political look at the West Coast’s occasionally explosive cultural melting pot that . . . illuminates a few corners that don’t turn up in the usual tourist guides.”
(Wanderlust 2012-05-01)

“This is not your usual roundup of traditional tourist sites in L.A. but, instead, a unique and vastly informative guide to places of interest and importance in the struggles of race, labor, gender, and the environment.”
(Brad Hooper Booklist 2012-04-01)

"A People’s Guide is much more than a guidebook, it is a unique and much-needed people’s history of Los Angeles; an historical document to resist the erasures, and to capture stories, struggles (both historical and ongoing), successes and defeats, that may otherwise be lost or remain inaccessible to those not intimately familiar with and embedded in the region."
(Human Geography: A New Radical Journal 2014-10-14)

From the Inside Flap

“Forget the stars’ map of Hollywood: this is the real trip through an L.A. history of militant strikers, civil rights activists, and unforgettable feminists. A tour de force of imagination and memory.” —Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

"A People’s Guide brings the reader to the Los Angeles I know and love. The amazingly diverse, vibrant, gritty LA filled with history and struggle. Finally, here’s a guidebook that takes visitors to the places and people that make me proud to call Los Angeles my home.” —Madeline Janis, Executive Director, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520270819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520270817
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Murashige on February 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are likely few cities that have been more examined or described in the pages of the tour guide genre than Los Angeles. A simple Amazon search gives you over 1,400 travel books on Los Angeles, many of which are excellent companions to a trip to the Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula -- whether it be Hollywood Star guides, books on the strange and bizarre, on local hikes, eating in the city, and so forth. Still, in the pages of those fourteen-hundred or so books, you will not likely find a book anything like this one. In its pages, three Southern California natives (no transplants, however long) have dug into the full depth and breadth of Los Angeles history, from its humble beginnings as a small satellite to the settlement at the San Gabriel Mission, on through the boom years at the end of the 19th century, the war years, and on toward the present.

The book is broken into six regions, which is a good thing, since sprawl has meant that there are simply no easy ways to "see it all" in any practical way. In addition, the book offers a number of "thematic" tours that bring together a number of the 112 sites into common groupings, like: the independent and alternative media tour or the queer politics and culture tour, or the economic restructuring and globalization tour. Along the way, the authors not only give a snapshot of historical events and the current use/condition of each site, but they provide suggestions for further exploration, nearby sites of interest, and even nearby eating recommendations.

A People's Guide to Los Angeles stands as an excellent specimen of alternative tourism, of local knowledge, of place-history from the bottom up.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Popuch on March 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
How to describe to friends and family in other parts of the U.S. (and world) what makes Los Angeles such a meaningful, wonderful, challenging, joyful place to live, after their minds have been jammed full of images of a "Los Angeles" that is actually some amalgamation of Beverly Hills, Malibu, and West Hollywood? How to make real and visible the past and on-going struggles for justice and liberation that makes LA the heart of so many of today's national and global peoples' movements? Why, A People's Guide to Los Angeles, of course!

A People's Guide to Los Angeles serves as an indispensable guidebook for the native Angelen@, the short-term visitor, and the newly-arrived-to-LA alike. Rich with history and images, it is a pleasure to read. Buy a copy for yourself and for a friend-- one who already loves Los Angeles, or does, and just doesn't know it yet.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Lee on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Detailed history, good maps, and a social justice bent to it all. See the unspoken conflicts and landmarks throughout LA. Know your rights at the beaches near Malibu. See where people have fought for freedom and equality, not where John Travolta decided to eat a hamburger. My only wish is that they do this kind of guide for every major city in the US.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting book with lots of cool, off the beaten track places. It's kind of a sightseeing guide with a great historical narrative about each place. What is really different from other LA guidebooks is that it picks out the hidden history of less affluent or touristy areas. I go to USC so we're a bit far from a lot of the typical Hollywood stuff, but this book had plenty of fascinating history about South LA, Downtown, and such. After a semester of exploring on the weekends I still haven't been everywhere the guide talks about, but I haven't forgotten the places I have seen.
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