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Los Angeles: Biography of a City Paperback – October 18, 1977

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Los Angeles: Biography of a City + Southern California: An Island on the Land + City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 18, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520034104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520034105
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A beautiful array of literary and historical pearls hung on a chronological strand reflecting the foundation, development, and growing maturity of the most cussed and discussed city in America. -- Pacific Historical Review

From the Inside Flap

"Its intelligent combination of essays reveals much about Los Angeles which does not always find its way into socio-historical texts about the area. The editors' remarks preceding each essay expertly bind the book together. I suspect it will wind up as one of the more dog-eared volumes on my shelf."—Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Steirer on April 9, 2012
Though there is a lot of great historical information contained in this book, it is something of a misnomer to label this a "biography." Rather than a single narrative, detailing the founding of the city to its present day, the book offers a slew of fragments from historical documents and books (some of these fragments less than a page long). As interesting as many of them are are, they make for a very disjointed and unpleasant reading experience if you try to read them as some kind of narrative.

If you don't already know a lot about Los Angeles history, this is not a good book to start off with. Those who already possess a solid knowledge, however, will likely find some of this material interesting.
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