- Series: Classics in Urban History (Book 3)
- Paperback: 362 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; First edition (June 9, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520082303
- ISBN-13: 978-0520082304
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930 (Classics in Urban History) First Edition
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"An excellent addition to the small but growing shelf of serious urban historical studies. . . . Fogelson's scholarly work at last makes it possible to place Los Angeles with some confidence in the framework of American urban history."--Sam Bass Warner, Jr., "American Historical Review
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Since I was born in Los Angeles and raised in the suburbs, I'd say Robert M. Fogelson captures the urban history, and his book hits the highlights and events, which shaped Los Angeles. Some of the history as well as the corruption and business influences, I knew. I didn’t know the depth and breadth of those influences, but I wasn’t surprised.
I enjoyed Fogelson's analysis, which clarified some of the early history. I’ve always wondered how the influence of the rancheros and the Mexican culture dissipated. As a young girl, I had friends from that cultural background and realized their rich history was both present and pushed to the background of popular culture. Anyone who watches the Rose Bowl Parade gets a glimpse of that heritage.
My parents moved to California after WWII, and I grew up hearing their stories about the wonders of Los Angeles. I even think I have a memory of riding the trolleys; however, I was so young, I have a feeling my memory is based more on my parents’ remembrances rather than my reality.
Some readers might find the book a little dry and academic, which wasn't the case for me, but I wanted to throw that out to forewarn readers.
The book covers: LA's Mexican roots, which some people newer to the area don't realize or choose to forget; Southern California’s ongoing need for water sources; transportation--I've always been fascinated by stories of old timers who remember a working and extensive public transportation system, which was dismantled to "force" cars into the picture (thank you, Standard Oil, et al); public utility movement; the feud between Los Angeles and San Diego, which is interesting and rife with underhanded political and business deals; the progressive movement.
When I saw pictures of the Los Angeles River in this book, I bought another book on the river. To me, the LA River has always been a trickle of water or a completely dried up concrete system, which weaves its way to the ocean.
If you are interested in Los Angeles and its history, this is a great book. I strongly recommend it.
Fogelson's history is academic in tone, but it's just such concise and well documented writing that you have to love it. A must for readers of Southern California history. I might add that although this was a book about L.A., the chapter on the L.A./SD conflict for Southern California supremacy was actually the best thing I've been able to dig up thus far on San Diego history! How about that, huh?
I might also add that you might want to track down a first edition hardback of this book, rather then paying for this overpriced reprint. The original hardback is handsomely designed and makes a fine edition to your book shelve.