on May 23, 2006
While there are many books that purport to explain Los Angeles to their audiences, there are very few that succeed in balancing complex analytical work with solid, on-the-ground oral history from the region during this important period. Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left is one such book.
For those who live in Los Angeles, it is no secret that race plays an important, yet complex and often contradictory role in shaping the city. It is clear that Pulido has taken pains not only to keep this truth squarely in front of her throughout the book's well-crafted narration, but to do so without much of the hip jargon, opaque theorizing, and self-indulgent navel-gazing that typifies so much academic work in the social sciences and humanities these days. Pulido is the kind of careful and quietly brilliant scholar that seems in such short supply these days: one who has not forgotten that scholarly writing should strive, at once, for clarity and rigor.
Neither too erudite in its analysis or too simlistic in its formulations and explanations, Laura Pulido has written a book with something for virtually everyone. Whether it be urban or labor history, ethnic or american studies, leftist politics or gender studies, Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left is that rare book that has the potential to become a classic in several fields.
If you're looking for a book that will either simply valorize or condemn the 1960s radical left, then you will be better off seeking out one of the many self-absorbed polemicists that emerged from that period. But if it is meticulous scholarship and balanced assessment you are looking for, then look no further. It's time to make some room on your bookshelf next to Carey McWilliams, Reyner Banham, Kevin Starr, and Mike Davis.
on November 28, 2012
This book is a racebaiters paradise. Having lived in Los Angeles since the mid 60s, when I immigrated from Mexico, I've seen thousands of people, especially ethnic stidues professors(probably the most worthless degree achievable-let's see Ms Pulido try to get a job at Burger King)exploit race for their own benefit.
Victimhood is the root of all the problems we have in Los Angeles. This book is just another way to expand it.