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Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the City and County Paperback – October 2, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

People complain that Los Angeles is chaos, a massive tangle of freeways and boulevards, gangs, and movie stars. Leonard and Dale Pitt bring organization to the confusion with an encyclopedia that runs from Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem to Zuma County Beach, covering the people, places, events, and icons that make up the city and county of Los Angeles. The famous neighborhoods of Hollywood and Watts are there, as are the lesser-known Winnetka and El Sereno. There are entries on when and where the smog began, how the movie industry was established, which trees are native, and just who the Black Dahlia was. With appendices covering chronology, the 1990 census, and government organizations, Los Angeles A to Z is an exceptionally well-done resource, and a welcome addition to the shelves of any Los Angelaphile, scholar, or visitor who seeks a self-guided tour. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

One of the major cities of the world finally gets a one-volume encyclopedia. As slippery as Los Angeles is to define?some call it 100 suburbs in search of a city?Leonard Pitt (emeritus, history, California State Univ., Northridge) and brother Dale, a freelance writer and indexer, have managed to get a competent grip on the history and lifestyle of the oft-ridiculed, always-envied city. Scholars will have to search long and hard to find anything worthwhile missing from this compendium. The entries range from a few paragraphs (Engine House #18, O.J. Simpson) to in-depth articles filled with valuable statistics and general information. The text is liberally sprinkled with illustrations and humorous quotes about the city, and the entire work is like a leisurely stroll through the life and times of this fascinating place. Even if your library isn't located anywhere near LaLa Land, seriously consider purchasing this compelling reference work for all of your patrons who will eventually end up visiting or even relocating there.?Joseph L. Carlson, Vandenberg Air Force Base Lib., Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (October 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520205308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520205307
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,759,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "brian_d" on March 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you can think of anything you'd ever want to know about Los Angeles, chances are you will find it in this book, and in DETAIL. I was hard-pressed to find anything missing that I knew about as an Angeleno. Historical entries include L.A. water czar William Mulholland, the Chandler families, the histories of movie theaters and many, many more pieces of information. A great book for those fascinated with L.A. history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is without a doubt the best book ever written about L.A.! It is amazingly comprehensive and virtually teams with fascinating stories on every page. Great for reading in bed before sleep. For every Angeleno, especially those unlucky ones who are far from home, this is a welcome companion. You will love it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book fills a void in the available descriptions of Los Angeles. It attempts to winnow out those features in its present and in its history which make it uniquely LA. It does not merely hit the high points of the rich and famous and powerful but includes much of the sweep and power of the great mass of the population which has contributed so profoundly to the evolution of LA to its present state
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My wife bought a copy of this book for me as a birthday present, and I love it! This is an excellent resource for understanding the details, history and current state of Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County. I hope the authors will consider producing a companion volume to this work, perhaps called "Orange County A-Z".
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed thumbing through this Encyclopedia. Los Angeles' brief is history is fascinating and often neglected.

This book is quite comprehensive, and gives you the back story on many different topics related to LA. It answered a lot of my questions such as: "Where did the name Beverly Hills come from?" (Answer: the first farmer on the land was from Beverly Farms, Massachusetts); "Didn't LA use to have a light rail system?" (Answer is a big yes!) and a lot more.

If you want to learn more about LA, this book is a great resource for you.
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