From Publishers Weekly
Encapsulating deftly the worldview, historical context, and public psychology of Southern Californians over a number of decades, Los Angeles journalists Jacobs and Kelly examine the approaches they've made to the region's chronic pollution issues, many of which presage current, nation-wide trends in both pollution and its "greening." with casual language and a cinematic sense of the dramatic, Jacobs and Kelly detail the buildup to the famous orange-brown L.A. smog of the 1950s and '60s: "Just at that moment, the beast started to evolve... Sometime in the late 1950s, legend had it that a hen laid an egg that L.A. pollution unaccountably turned green." Highlighting the pioneering people and groups that blazed the trail for the environmental movement, jacobs and kelly also explore the progress and setbacks established by policymakers, including a famously conflicted Ronald Reagan. Finished with a particularly powerful, forward-looking epilogue, this friendly, accessible history should appeal to any American environmentalist. 15 b & w photos.
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"... the book is not lacking in historical heft. Instead, style delivers substance in true Hollywood fashion, with character-driven plots draped in glamour and sensation ... the history of smog has never been so sexy ..." -- Los Angeles Times
"[S]tory of smog in all its hazy-and sometimes humorous-permutations ... a zany and provocative cultural history." -- Kirkus
"Finished with a particularly powerful, forward-looking epilogue, this friendly, accessible history should appeal to any American environmentalist."-- Publishers Weekly
"... a meticulous chronicle of the city''s signature airborne grime and of the civic and social forces that emerged to stop it ... ... The story of Smogtown is that of a city vying against time to reconcile incommensurables ... " -- Bookforum
"The narrative that emerges is more than a tale of a region and a populace besieged by smog; it is also a parable for a nation beset by environmental and social problems ... (a) well-researched cultural history" -- Slate
"Writing in a hip, lively style, ...[An] intriguing social history of an environmental problem that won''t go away. Recommended." - Library Journal
"... a well-documented, highly engaging, and widely relevant account of southern California''s battle with "the beast," as the authors lovingly refer to smog. ... Smogtown is not your typical "green''s" diatribe against big business and weak government. No, Jacobs and Kelly are much smarter-and fairer-than that" -- Sustainablog