From postwar efforts to end discrimination in the motion-picture industry, recording studios, and musicians’ unions, through the development of community-based arts organizations, to the creation of searing films critiquing conditions in the black working class neighborhoods of a city touting its multiculturalism—Black Arts West documents the social and political significance of African American arts activity in Los Angeles between the Second World War and the riots of 1992. Focusing on the lives and work of black writers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers, Daniel Widener tells how black cultural politics changed over time, and how altered political realities generated new forms of artistic and cultural expression. His narrative is filled with figures invested in the politics of black art and culture in postwar Los Angeles, including not only African American artists but also black nationalists, affluent liberal whites, elected officials, and federal bureaucrats.
Along with the politicization of black culture, Widener explores the rise of a distinctive regional Black Arts Movement. Originating in the efforts of wartime cultural activists, the movement was rooted in the black working class and characterized by struggles for artistic autonomy and improved living and working conditions for local black artists. As new ideas concerning art, racial identity, and the institutional position of African American artists emerged, dozens of new collectives appeared, from the Watts Writers Workshop, to the Inner City Cultural Center, to the New Art Jazz Ensemble. Spread across generations of artists, the Black Arts Movement in Southern California was more than the artistic affiliate of the local civil-rights or black-power efforts: it was a social movement itself. Illuminating the fundamental connections between expressive culture and political struggle, Black Arts West is a major contribution to the histories of Los Angeles, black radicalism, and avant-garde art.
No one will soon forget the image, blazed across the airwaves, of armed Korean Americans taking to the rooftops as their businesses went up in flames during the Los Angeles riots. Why Korean Americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed against them? Blue Dreams is the first book to make sense of these questions, to show how Korean Americans, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the American dream or as racist merchants exploiting African Americans, emerged at the crossroads of conflicting social reflections in the aftermath of the 1992 riots.
The situation of Los Angeles's Korean Americans touches on some of the most vexing issues facing American society today: ethnic conflict, urban poverty, immigration, multiculturalism, and ideological polarization. Combining interviews and deft socio-historical analysis, Blue Dreams gives these problems a human face and at the same time clarifies the historical, political, and economic factors that render them so complex. In the lives and voices of Korean Americans, the authors locate a profound challenge to cherished assumptions about the United States and its minorities.
Why did Koreans come to the United States? Why did they set up shop in poor inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in conflict with African Americans? These are among the many difficult questions the authors answer as they probe the transnational roots and diversity of Los Angeles's Korean Americans. Their work finally shows us in sharp relief and moving detail a community that, despite the blinding media focus brought to bear during the riots, has nonetheless remained largely silent and effectively invisible. An important corrective to the formulaic accounts that have pitted Korean Americans against African Americans, Blue Dreams places the Korean American story squarely at the center of national debates over race, class, culture, and community.
Table of Contents: Preface
The Los Angeles Riots, the Korean American Story Reckoning via the Riots Diaspora Formation: Modernity and Mobility Mapping the Korean Diaspora in Los Angeles Korean American Entrepreneurship American Ideologies on Trial Conclusion
Notes References Index
Reviews of this book: Blue Dreams--a poetic allusion to the clear blue sky that Koreans see as a symbol of freedom--is a welcome exploration by outsiders into the vexing and largely invisible Korean-American predicament in Los Angeles and the nation. [Abelmann and Lie 's] colorful interview subjects offer sharp observations. --K.W. Lee, Los Angeles Times
Reviews of this book: An informed and thoughtful examination of Korean immigration to the United States since 1970...[Abelmann and Lie] show that even in a period as short as twenty-five years, there have been successive waves of differently motivated, differently resourced Korean immigrants, and their experiences and reactions have differed accordingly. --Michael Tonry, Times Literary Supplement
Reviews of this book: [The authors'] transnational perspective is particularly effective for explicating Korean immigrants' behaviors, activities, and feelings...Interesting and readable. --Pyong Gap Min, American Journal of Sociology
Reviews of this book: Beginning with a poetic book title, the authors recount in depth as to how the 'Blue Dreams' of the Korean-American merchants in East Los Angeles had shattered in the midst of [the] 1992 riot that turned out to be 'elusive dreams' in America...The book not only portrays the L.A. riot surrounding the Korean merchants, but also characterizes diaspora of the Koreans in America. The authors have also examined with scholarly insights the more complex socioeconomic and political underplay the Koreans encountered in their 'Promised New Land'. --Eugene C. Kim, International Migration Review
Since the 1980s, Los Angeles has become the most racially and economically divided city in the United States. In the poorest parts of South Central Los Angeles, buildings in disrepair—the legacy of racial unrest. Moving beyond stereotypes of South Central's predominantly African American residents, João H. Costa Vargas recounts his almost two years living in the district. Personal, critical, and disquieting, Catching Hell in the City of Angels examines the ways in which economic and social changes in the twentieth century have affected the black community, and powerfully conveys the experiences that bind and divide its people.
Through compelling stories of South Central, including his own experience as an immigrant of color, Vargas presents portraits of four groups. He talks daily with women living in a low-income Watts apartment building; works with activists in a community organization against police brutality; interacts with former gang members trying to maintain a 1992 truce between the Bloods and the Crips; and listens to amateur jazz musicians who perform in a gentrified section of the neighborhood. In each case he describes the worldviews and the definitions of “blackness” these people use to cope with oppression. Vargas finds, in turn, that blackness is a form of racial solidarity, a vehicle for the renewal of African American culture, and a political expression of revolutionary black nationalism.
Vargas reveals that the social fault lines in South Central reflect both contemporary disparities and long-term struggles. In doing so, he shows both the racialized power that makes “blackness” a prized term of identity and the terrible price that African Americans have paid for this emphasis. Ultimately, Catching Hell in the City of Angels tells the story of urban America through the lives of individuals from diverse, overlapping, and vibrant communities.
João H. Costa Vargas is assistant professor in the Center for African and African American Studies and the department of anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin.
Robin D. G. Kelley is the William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, including Yo Mama's Disfunktional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America.
Founded in 1957, the Southern California suburb prophetically named City of Industry today represents, in the words of Victor Valle, "The gritty crossroads of the global trade revolution that is transforming Southern California factories into warehouses, and adjacent working class communities into economic and environmental sacrifice zones choking on cheap goods and carcinogenic diesel exhaust."City of Industry is a stunning exposé on the construction of corporate capitalist spaces.
Valle investigated an untapped archive of Industry's built landscape, media coverage, and public records, including sealed FBI reports, to uncover a cascading series of scandals. A kaleidoscopic view of the corruption that resulted when local land owners, media barons, and railroads converged to build the city, this suspenseful narrative explores how new governmental technologies and engineering feats propelled the rationality of privatization using their property-owning servants as tools.
Valle's tale of corporate greed begins with the city's founder James M. Stafford and ends with present day corporate heir, Edward Roski Jr., the nation's biggest industrial developerùco-owner of the L.A. Staples Arena and possible future owner of California's next NFL franchise. Not to be forgotten in Valle's captivating story are Latino working class communities living within Los Angeles's distribution corridors, who suffer wealth disparities and exposure to air pollution as a result of diesel-burning trucks, trains, and container ships that bring global trade to their very doorsteps. They are among the many victims of City of Industry.
Open from 1942 until 1945, the Hollywood Canteen was the most famous of the patriotic home front nightclubs where civilian hostesses jitterbugged with enlisted men of the Allied Nations. Since the opening night, when the crowds were so thick that Bette Davis had to enter through the bathroom window to give her welcome speech, the storied dance floor where movie stars danced with soldiers has been the subject of much U.S. nostalgia about the "Greatest Generation." Drawing from oral histories with civilian volunteers and military guests who danced at the wartime nightclub, Sherrie Tucker explores how jitterbugging swing culture has come to represent the war in U.S. national memory. Yet her interviewees' varied experiences and recollections belie the possibility of any singular historical narrative. Some recall racism, sexism, and inequality on the nightclub's dance floor and in Los Angeles neighborhoods, dynamics at odds with the U.S. democratic, egalitarian ideals associated with the Hollywood Canteen and the "Good War" in popular culture narratives. For Tucker, swing dancing's torque—bodies sharing weight, velocity, and turning power without guaranteed outcomes—is an apt metaphor for the jostling narratives, different perspectives, unsteady memories, and quotidian acts that comprise social history.
Death Claims is the second of Joseph Hansen's acclaimed mysteries featuring ruggedly masculine Dave Brandstetter, a gay insurance investigator. When John Oats's body is found washed up on a beach, his young lover April Stannard is sure it was no accident. Brandstetter agrees: Oats's college-age son, the beneficiary of the life insurance policy, has gone missing.
As international travel became cheaper and national economies grew more connected over the past thirty years, millions of people from the Third World emigrated to richer countries. A tenth of the population of Mexico relocated to the United States between 1980 and 2000. Globalization theorists claimed that reception cities could do nothing about this trend, since nations make immigration policy, not cities. In Deflecting Immigration, sociologist Ivan Light shows how Los Angeles reduced the sustained, high-volume influx of poor Latinos who settled there by deflecting a portion of the migration to other cities in the United States. In this manner, Los Angeles tamed globalization's local impact, and helped to nationalize what had been a regional immigration issue. Los Angeles deflected immigration elsewhere in two ways. First, the protracted network-driven settlement of Mexicans naturally drove up rents in Mexican neighborhoods while reducing immigrants' wages, rendering Los Angeles a less attractive place to settle. Second, as migration outstripped the city's capacity to absorb newcomers, Los Angeles gradually became poverty-intolerant. By enforcing existing industrial, occupational, and housing ordinances, Los Angeles shut down some unwanted sweatshops and reduced slums. Their loss reduced the metropolitan region's accessibility to poor immigrants without reducing its attractiveness to wealthier immigrants. Additionally, ordinances mandating that homes be built on minimum-sized plots of land with attached garages made home ownership in L.A.'s suburbs unaffordable for poor immigrants and prevented low-cost rental housing from being built. Local rules concerning home occupancy and yard maintenance also prevented poor immigrants from crowding together to share housing costs. Unable to find affordable housing or low-wage jobs, approximately one million Latinos were deflected from Los Angeles between 1980 and 2000. The realities of a new global economy are still unfolding, with uncertain consequences for the future of advanced societies, but mass migration from the Third World is unlikely to stop in the next generation. Deflecting Immigration offers a shrewd analysis of how America's largest immigrant destination independently managed the challenges posed by millions of poor immigrants and, in the process, helped focus attention on immigration as an issue of national importance.
Ethnic Los Angeles
Roger Waldinger Russell Sage Foundation, 1996 Library of Congress F869.L89A1 1996b | Dewey Decimal 305.800979494
Since 1965 more immigrants have come to Los Angeles than anywhere else in the United States. These newcomers have rapidly and profoundly transformed the city's ethnic makeup and sparked heated debate over their impact on the region's troubled economy. Ethnic Los Angeles presents a multi-investigator study of L.A.'s immigrant population, exploring the scope, characteristics, and consequences of ethnic transition in the nation's second most populous urban center. Using the wealth of information contained in the U.S. censuses of 1970, 1980, and 1990, essays on each of L.A.'s major ethnic groups tell who the immigrants are, where they come from, the skills they bring and their sources of employment, and the nature of their families and social networks. The contributors explain the history of legislation and economic change that made the city a magnet for immigration, and compare the progress of new immigrants to those of previous eras. Recent immigrants to Los Angeles follow no uniform course of adaptation, nor do they simply assimilate into the mainstream society. Instead, they have entered into distinct niches at both the high and low ends of the economic spectrum. While Asians and Middle Easterners have thrived within the medical and technical professions, low-skill newcomers from Central America provide cheap labor in light manufacturing industries. As Ethnic Los Angeles makes clear, the city's future will depend both on how well its economy accommodates its diverse population, and on how that population adapts to economic changes. The more prosperous immigrants arrived already possessed of advanced educations and skills, but what does the future hold for less-skilled newcomers? Will their children be able to advance socially and economically, as the children of previous immigrants once did? The contributors examine the effect of racial discrimination, both in favoring low-skilled immigrant job seekers over African Americans, and in preventing the more successful immigrants and native-born ethnic groups from achieving full economic parity with whites. Ethnic Los Angeles is an illuminating portrait of a city whose unprecedented changes are sure to be replicated in other urban areas as new concentrations of immigrants develop. Backed by detailed demographic information and insightful analyses, this volume engages all of the issues that are central to today's debates about immigration, ethnicity, and economic opportunity in a post-industrial urban society.
"Somehow, Kwong has held onto his sense of childlike wonder about the cosmos, and that awe informs his free-wheeling and uproarious performance."
"He weaves striking, multi-focus stage pictures around simple monologues about his Chinese and Japanese grandfathers, ironic accounts of his own childhood, and litanies of the trials facing Asian American males."
"Saturated with high-spirited enthusiasm . . . a refreshingly forthright approach to his often dark material."
"Kwong's humor is warm and loving . . . it stems from a delightfully twisted taste for the absurdity of human behavior. . . . Be prepared to laugh, to be moved, and to fall in love with a performer."
Dan Kwong's performances delve into the complexities of growing up as a working-class Chinese-Japanese-American male in L.A., land of Hollywood and Disney. Kwong's remarkable performances, a potent array of multimedia effects and athletic physicalization, investigate questions of identity and the intersecting effects of race, culture, class, gender, and sexuality. From Inner Worlds to Outer Space brings together Kwong's scripts with illuminating commentary by critic Robert Vorlicky. The book includes interviews that reveal Kwong's personal and artistic influences, his evolution as an artist, and his philosophical and technical approach to art-making.
From the Belly of My Beauty
Esther G. Belin University of Arizona Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 38 | Dewey Decimal 810.80054
If it can be said that Native culture is hidden behind the facade of mainstream America, there is a facet of that culture hidden even to many Native Americans. One of today's generation of outstanding Native writers, Esther Belin is an urban Indian. Raised in the city, she speaks with an entirely different voice from that of her reservation kindred as she expresses herself on subjects of urban alienation, racism, sexism, substance abuse, and cultural estrangement.
In this bold new collection of poems, Belin presents a startling vision of urban California—particularly Los Angeles—contrasted with Navajo life in the Four Corners region. She presents aspects of Diné life and history not normally seen by readers accustomed to accounts written by Navajos brought up on the reservation.
Her work reveals a difference in experience but a similarity in outlook. Belin's poems put familiar cultural forms in a new context, as Coyote "struts down east 14th / feeling good / looking good / feeling the brown." Her character Ruby dramatizes the gritty reality of a Native woman's life ("I laugh / sit / smoke a Virginia Slim / and talk to the spirits"). Her use of Diné language and poignant descriptions of family life will remind some of Joy Harjo's work, but with every turn of the page, readers will know that Belin is making her own mark on Native American literature.
From the Belly of My Beauty is also a ceremony of affirmation and renewal for those Native Americans affected by the Federal Indian Relocation Program of the 1950s and '60s, with its attempts to "assimilate" them into the American mainstream. They have survived by remembering who they were and where they came from. And they have survived so that they might bear witness, as Esther Belin so powerfully does. Belin holds American culture accountable for failing to treat its indigenous peoples with respect, but speaks for the ability of Native culture to survive and provide hope, even for mixed-blood or urban Indians. She is living proof that Native culture thrives wherever its people are found.
In Hold-Outs, Bill Mohr, long a figure on the Los Angeles poetry scene, reveals the complicated evolution of the literary landscape in a city famous for its production of corporate culture. Mohr’s multigenerational account of the role of the poet-editor-publisher in Los Angeles community formation is nothing less than a radiant mosaic of previously little-known details about an important center of American poetry. While explaining the important role of L.A. in contemporary American poetry, Mohr also explores the ideals and perils of the small press movement in the twentieth century, providing a new generation of literary activists with the knowledge that is needed to inspire their own redefinitions of the social value of alternative artistic practices.
Drawing on extensive archival research of original documents, Mohr argues that West Coast poets in general (and Los Angeles poets in particular) have been part of what can be called not so much a haven of more imaginatively inspired artists but, rather, a site of revisionist creativity. Revealed here are the personalities (including Stuart Perkoff, Wanda Coleman, Leland Hickman, Paul Vangelisti, Don Gordon, Suzanne Lummis, John Thomas, Ron Koertge, and Charles Bukowski, among others), the institutions, the publications, and the informal poetry groups that together formed a matrix that encouraged poetry to be written, performed, published, and acknowledged.
Hold-Outs is a stunning roadmap of the interwoven contexts of an ongoing cultural debate whose most important witnesses are finally being heard.
Hollywood cinema and Los Angeles cannot be understood apart. Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles traces the interaction of the real city, its movie business, and filmed image, focusing on the crucial period from the construction of the first studios in the 1910s to the decline of the studio system fifty years later.
As Los Angeles gradually became one of the ten largest cities in the world, the film industry made key contributions to its rapid growth and frequent crises in economic, social, political and cultural life. Whether filmmakers engaged with the real city on location or recreated it on a studio set, Los Angeles shaped the films that were made there and circulated influentially worldwide. The book pays particular attention to early cinema, slapstick comedy, movies about the movies and film noir, which are each explored in new ways, with an emphasis on urban and architectural space and its representation, as well as filmmaking style and technique. Including many previously unpublished photographs and new historical evidence, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles gives us a never-before-seen view of the City of Angels.
Vanessa Place University of Alabama Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3616.L33L3 2008 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
La Medusa is a polyphonic novel of post-conceptual consciousness. At the heart of the whole floats Medusa, an androgynous central awareness that anchors the novel throughout. La Medusa is at once the city of Los Angeles, with its snaking freeways and serpentine shifts between reality and illusion, and a brain—a modern mind that is both expansive and penetrating in its obsessions and perceptions.
Vanessa Place’s characters—a trucker and his wife, a nine-year-old saxophonist, an ice cream vendor, a sex worker, and a corpse, among others—are borderless selves in a borderless city, a city impossible to contain. Her expert ventriloquism and explosive imagination anchor this epic narrative in language that is fierce and vibrant, a penetrating a cross-section of contemporary Los Angeles and a cross-section of the modern mind.
L.A. Private Eyes
Dahlia Schweitzer Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS374.D4S394 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.087209979494
L.A. Private Eyes examines the tradition of the private eye as it evolves in films, books, and television shows set in Los Angeles from the 1930’s through the present day. It takes a closer look at narratives—both on screen and on the printed page—in which detectives travel the streets of Los Angeles, uncovering corruption, moral ambiguity, and greed with the conviction of urban cowboys, while always ultimately finding truth and redemption. With a review of Los Angeles history, crime stories, and film noir, L.A. Private Eyes explores the metamorphosis of the solitary detective figure and the many facets of the genre itself, from noir to mystery, on the screen. While the conventions of the genre may have remained consistent and recognizable, the points where they evolve illuminate much about our changing gender and power roles.
Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers—think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli—Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors.
Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations.
Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd.,Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show.
Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash.
In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
Los Angeles has long been a place where cultures clash and reshape. The city has a growing number of Latina/o authors and filmmakers who are remapping and reclaiming it through ongoing symbolic appropriation. In this illuminating book, Ignacio López-Calvo foregrounds the emotional experiences of authors, implicit authors, narrators, characters, and readers in order to demonstrate that the evolution of the imaging of Los Angeles in Latino cultural production is closely related to the politics of spatial location. This spatial-temporal approach, he writes, reveals significant social anxieties, repressed rage, and deep racial guilt.
Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction sets out to reconfigure the scope of Latino literary and cultural studies. Integrating histories of different regions and nations, the book sets the interplay of unresolved contradictions in this particular metropolitan area. The novelists studied here stem from multiple areas, including the U.S. Southwest, Guatemala, and Chile. The study also incorporates non-Latino writers who have contributed to the Latino culture of the city.
The first chapter examines Latino cultural production from an ecocritical perspective on urban interethnic relations. Chapter 2 concentrates on the representation of daily life in the barrio and the marginalization of Latino urban youth. The third chapter explores the space of women and how female characters expand their area of operations from the domestic space to the public space of both the barrio and the city.
A much-needed contribution to the fields of urban theory, race critical theory, Chicana/o–Latina/o studies, and Los Angeles writing and film, López-Calvo offers multiple theoretical perspectives—including urban theory, ecocriticism, ethnic studies, gender studies, and cultural studies—contextualized with notions of transnationalism and post-nationalism.
As the twenth-first century begins, Latinas/os represent 45 percent of the residents of Los Angeles County, making them the largest racial/ethnic group in the region. At the same time, the shift from manufacturing to a service-based economy in the area has contributed to a decline in good-paying jobs, significantly impacting working class families. These transformations have created a backlash that has included state propositions impacting Latinas/os and escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric—and Latina/os of all backgrounds are making their voices heard. Until recently, most research on Latinas/os in the U.S. has ignored historical and contemporary dynamics in Latin America, just as scholars of Latin America have generally stopped their studies at the border. This volume roots Los Angeles in the larger arena of globalization, exploring the demographic changes that have transformed the Latino presence in LA from primarily Mexican-origin to one that now includes peoples from throughout the hemisphere. Bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines, it combines historical perspectives with analyses of power and inequality to consider how Latinas/os are responding to exclusionary immigration, labor, and schooling practices and actively creating communities. The contributors examine Latina/o Los Angeles in the context of historical, economic and social factors that have shaped the region. The first section provides contexts for understanding Latina/o migration, with chapters focusing on such factors as U.S. economic and military domination, labor and economic integration in the Americas, and Los Angeles’ economic history. The second section considers how various Latina/o groups have settled and formed communities and interacted with the existing Mexican-origin populations, showing how Zapotecs, Salvadorans, and other peoples are remaking urban demographics. The final section on labor organizing and political activism examines the role of Latina/o immigrants in such actions as the janitors’ strike and also considers the contemporary role of students in political activism. The volume concludes with an up-to-date compilation of contemporary scholarship on immigration, the economy, schools, neighborhoods, gender and activism as they relate to Central American and Mexican immigrants. Reflecting a range of methodologies—statistical, historical, ethnographic, and participatory research—this collection is relevant not only to ethnic studies but also to broader concerns in political science, sociology, history, economics, and urban studies. In addition, some chapters focus explicitly on women, and gender issues are interwoven throughout the text. Latino Los Angeles is an important work that contributes to contemporary scholarship on transnationalism as it reexamines the changing face of America’s largest western metropolis.
Victor M. Valle University of Minnesota Press, 2000 Library of Congress F869.L89S757 2000 | Dewey Decimal 320.97949408968
A readable look at culture and politics in Los Angeles through a Latino lens.
"The authors have taken careful observations and measurements of the political, economic and social factors that affect the Latino population, ranging from the globalization of the Southern California economy to the shrinkage in housing, schools and social services. Caught among these seemingly blind and irresistible forces, however, are human beings, and the authors issue a dire warning that we ignore the poor and disempowered among us at our own peril. Clearly, Latino Metropolis seeks to hold us all to the very highest standards when it comes to understanding and honoring the Latino traditions of California and accommodating the urgent needs of its growing Latino population. And the fact is that its verbal pyrotechnics serve their intended purpose--the authors manage to catch and hold our attention with the occasional verbal blow, and then they deliver a sober (and sobering) lecture on the hard realities of multiculturalism." Los Angeles Times
"Latino Metropolis is a significant work of scholarship on Los Angeles and Latinos that puts the political economy back into academic and public discourse. The authors' detailed descriptions, insightful analysis, and identification of 'strategic opportunities' for change make the book a must read for scholars, community activists, and policy makers concerned with city building and community organizing." New Political Science
Los Angeles: scratch the surface of the city's image as a rich mosaic of multinational cultures and a grittier truth emerges-its huge, shimmering economy was built on the backs of largely Latino immigrants and still depends on them. This book exposes the underside of the development and restructuring that have turned Los Angeles into a global city, and in doing so it reveals the ways in which ideas about ethnicity-Latino identity itself-are implicated and elaborated in the process. A penetrating analysis of the social, economic, cultural, and political consequences of the growth of the Latino working-class populations in Los Angeles, Latino Metropolis is also a nuanced account of the complex links between political economy and the social construction of ethnicity.
Lifting examples from recent news stories, political encounters, and cultural events, the authors demonstrate how narratives about Latinos are used to maintain the status quo-particularly the existing power grid-in the city. In media representations of riots, in the recasting (and "whitening") of Mexican food as Spanish-American cuisine, in the community displacement that occurred as part of the development of the Staples Center-in telling instances large and small, we see how Los Angeles and its Latino population are mutually transforming. And we see how an old Latino politics of "racial" identity is inevitably giving way to a new politics of class.
Combining political and economic insight with trenchant social and cultural analysis, this work offers the clearest statement to date of how ethnicity and class intersect in defining racialized social relations in the contemporary metropolis.
Victor M. Valle is associate professor of ethnic studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Rodolfo D. Torres is associate professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches social policy and urban political economy.
Love After the Riots
Juan Felipe Herrera Northwestern University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3558.E74L68 1996 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A "fin-de-siecle epic", Juan Felipe Herrera's After the Riots chronicles a ten-and-a-half hour love affair through the streets of Los Angeles, revealing a world marred by chaos and redeemed by beauty. These are wild poems that force us to consider the nature of our modern-day lives, the world around us, and the prospect of love in the shadow of hopelessness.
During the 1990s, Los Angeles - like many other cities across America - began demolishing public housing projects that had come to symbolize decades of failed urban policies. But public housing was not always regarded with such disdain. In the years surrounding World War II, it had been a popular New Deal program, viewed as a force for positive social change and supported by a broad coalition of civic, labor, religious, and community organizations. Socially conscious architects and planners developed innovative and livable projects that embodied the latest theories in urban design. With sharp historical perspective, Making a Better World traces the rise and fall of a public housing ethic in Los Angeles and its impact on the city's built environment. In the caustic political atmosphere of Joseph McCarthy's America, public housing opponents accused the city's housing authority of communist infiltration, effectively eliminating the left from debates over the city's development. In place of public housing, conservative forces promoted a pro-private growth agenda that redefined urban renewal and reshaped modern Los Angeles. No conventional public housing projects have been constructed in Los Angeles since 1955. In this era of skyrocketing housing prices, especially in urban areas, Don Parson's examination not only gives us the recent history of a city, but also opens up a new debate on a current national crisis in providing shelter for low-income Americans.
Iranian Television in Los Angeles
Naficy explores the seemingly contradictory way in which immigrant media and cultural productions serve as the source both of resistance and opposition to the domination by host and home country's social values while simultaneously serving as vehicles for personal and cultural transformation and assimilation of those values.
"An important contribution to cultural anthropology. The Making of Exile Cultures is meticulously researched. It is no small achievement of the book that is pulls the focus in Middle East studies from geographically cohesive national cultures, 'hard' politics and high culture (art, literature) to exile cultures, media politics and the popular. Although it is a close case study, The Making of Exile Cultures participates in debates and methodologies across a range of disciplines beyond media studies. It is not simply a much-needed contribution to the growing set of micro-histories of local media use. Rather, it demonstrates the increasing centrality of minority television cultures to the overall structure of North American mainstream television. The Making of Exile Cultures should be read and used by media theorists, then, not just because it fills in another gap in knowledge of narrowcast television's heterogeneous field (as if there were a collective puzzle in the making here), but because it provides media theory with some important new ways of working through the particular questions of race, gender, nation, industry and audience that come into play regardless of our respective 'local' interest." Screen
"Fresh, stimulating, and an extremely valuable contribution to the study of cultural production amongst immigrants and the articulation of local and transnational identities. A fascinating study of the cultural politics of identity." Middle East Journal
"The Making of Exile Cultures transcends its limited scope and ethnographic ambitions to poignantly illuminate a truly multicultural situation. Naficy's engaging prose and personal anecdotes made the dry ethnography not just palatable but fascinating. This was not merely a sociological analysis of the interaction of television aesthetics and a group in exile. It was not merely a collection of copious details and taxonomies about what was broadcast when and by whom. It was not merely a study of now an exile group expresses nostalgic longing and fetishistic desire for an absent home. The power of this book is found in narratives, stories, and recollections of the author and interviewees. Naficy saves his study from falling into the banality of charts, tables, and taxonomies through his ability to tie something very specific to the larger issue of what means to live in exile." SubStance
"In this book, Naficy provides us with an example of exilic agency and the possibilities that can come about when hybridized exiles use their unique perspective gained form a split-subjectivity. This book is highly recommended for scholars in immigration studies as well as those engaged in cultural studies and the field of mass media and communications." Journal of American Ethnic History
"Ultimately, The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Media in Los Angeles is an important contribution to the growing scholarship on Iranians in diaspora and serves best as a handbook for decoding the popular culture of Iranians in Los Angeles. Naficy's book serves as the best model yet for studying Iranian culture among the expatriate communities, a model which goes beyond one-dimensional stereotypes or demographic and statistical analyses to provide an intimate and analytical study of a culture undergoing chaotic change." JUSUR (The UCLA Journal of Middle Eastern Studies)
"An important contribution to both Iranian and cultural studies. Exile Cultures provides an illuminating study of the mediating role of television in transforming an exile community into an ethnicity. Naficy's careful discussions of its political economy and textual politics offer valuable insights into the micro-practices of this exilic culture, insights that should prove useful to a broad range of readers, from those interested in the general questions of ethnicity and community in the United States to scholars working on the more specific issues of Iranian culture." International Journal of Middle East Studies
"Naficy's own blend of rigorous research, well presented data, and thorough knowledge of the theories to which he refers is an illustration of the kind of a successful syncretism he observes in the material he studies." Canadian Review of Comparative Literature
"This is an excellent study of the understudied world of Iranian popular culture in exile. An indispensable source of knowledge about contemporary Iran and life in exile in the vast diaspora formed in the wake of the 1978-79 revolution." Iranian Studies
"Naficy blends together the psychological and cultural backgrounds and aspirations of users and producers with the political economy of the ethnic media, and the way in which this local political economy not only articulates with the larger economy of the U.S. and world economy, but psychologically and culturally transforms its participants." Michael M. J. Fischer
No two cities are more symbolic of the modern American metropolis than New York and Los Angeles. But while New York boasts a recently revitalized urban center, Los Angeles is the classic example of sprawl and decentralization, with multiple clusters of economic and social activity dispersed throughout its surrounding area.
This volume presents advanced studies that consider this fundamental difference between New York and Los Angeles while comparing and contrasting politics and culture in each region. An esteemed group of contributors from a wide variety of disciplines considers issues that include immigration, the effects of race and class on residence, the efficacy of public schools, the value of welfare reform, the meaning of mayoral politics, the function of charter reform, and the respective roles of the cinema and art scenes in each city.
Capturing much of what is new and vibrant in urban studies today, New York and Los Angeles will prove to be must reading for scholars in that field, as well as in sociology, political science, and government.
Andrew Beveridge, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Geoffrey DeVerteuil, Susan S. Fainstein, Robert Gedeon, Saverio Giovacchini, David L. Gladstone, David Halle, Jack Katz, Karen M. Kaufmann, Rebecca Kim, Mark Levitan, Kevin Rafter, Georges Sabagh, David O. Sears, Heidi Sommer, Raphael J. Sonenshein, András Szántó, Lois Takahashi, Susan Weber, Jennifer Wolch, Julia Wrigley, Min Zhou
A renowned scholar compares America's three global cities.
"Abu-Lughod nicely characterizes the distinctive feel and experience of the three cities. She works her way through the history, the statistics, and the economic forces, but she ends up on the sidewalk, marveling at the complexity that has been created by an extraordinary history, and enamored of it. What is most urgent about her book is not so much her analysis of the urban condition as her devotion to cities. The city has been under attack by theorists and sprawlers for a long time now, but this fine book provides necessary examples of how the city may be intelligently loved." --Nathan Glazer in The New Republic
"In a pathbreaking analysis, Abu-Lughod demonstrates the historical roots of what is usually described as a contemporary phenomenon." --MultiCultural Review
"Substantial, in-depth comparison of more than one large city by a single urban scholar, while not unprecedented, is a difficult project to execute competently. Abu-Lughod has done a commendable job. One can only hope that others will follow her pioneering work and provide comparative and historical analyses of other global cities." --Urban Geography
"For those of us who are interested in historical-geographical approaches to comparative urbanization, Janet Abu-Lughod's new work, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America's Global Cities, comes as a welcome relief. This impressive volume provides a comprehensive, readable, and lively interpretation of the three leading U.S. metropolitan areas. Although Abu-Lughod is a trained urban sociologist, she has a keen sensitivity to historical, spatial, economic, political, and cultural considerationsits real strengths lie in an exhaustive review of empirical evidence from the three metropolises and a rich illustration of points with abundant maps, tables, and figures. Abu-Lughod excels in profiling the trajectories of America's three largest city-regions. I find the book to be a tour de force, the worthwhile result of many years of study and observation. Happily, the book presents the material in a straightforward way and is remarkably free of the jargon that sometimes plagues global-city studies. I hope the book receives wide circulation. Abu-Lughod, after a long scholarly career in urban studies, may have achieved her magnum opus in this ambitious study of America's three preeminent global cities." --Geographical Review
"Janet Abu-Lughod's book is both a fascinating history of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles and a history of the United States from a new perspective. The stories of the three cities are beautifully overlapped but consistent in themselves, related to one another but self-sufficient. This is a very American book-despite the author's wealth of experience abroad. Her forte is the new narrative she weaves from existing research. The book provides a remarkably systematic and organized narrative of urbanization in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is also replete with a collection of individual anecdotal evidence and an impressive multitude of single conceptual and metaphorical observations that are often hidden in the empirical material presented throughout the book. This book represents an outstanding achievement. It will be-and deserves to be-an instant classic. Abu-Lughod's major opus is expressive of a life's work among the great American urbanists and planners of the 20th century. Abu-Lughod is a living example of what the best of urbanism can produce in a largely suburban America. In this sense, the book gives planners a giant source of inspiration: the big picture in long waves. The city lives despite itself." --Roger Keil, Journal of the American Planning Association
"Janet L. Abu-Lughod's book is the first to compare these cities in an ambitious in-depth study that takes into account each city's unique history, following their development from their earliest days to their current status as players on the global state." --Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles--for all their differences, they are quintessentially American cities. They are also among the handful of cities in the world that can truly be called "global." Janet L. Abu-Lughod's book is the first to compare them in an ambitious in-depth study that takes into account each city's unique history, following their development from their earliest days to their current status as players on the global stage.
Unlike most other global cities, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles all quickly grew from the nearly blank slate of the American landscape to become important beyond the nation's borders early in their histories. As a result, Abu-Lughod is able to show the effect of globalization on each city's development from its beginnings. While all three are critical to global economics and the spread of American culture to the farthest reaches of an increasingly interlinked world, their influence reflects their individual histories and personalities. In a masterful synthesis of historical and economic information, Abu-Lughod clarifies how each city's global role is--and will be--affected by geography, ethnicity of population, political institutions, and tradition of governance.
New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are more than global players: they are also home to forty million people. Abu-Lughod closes the book with a set of vignettes that captures the cities' differences as perceived by one who has lived in them. Bringing together the local and the global in thoroughly unexpected and enlightening ways, this important volume offers fascinating insight into these vital urban centers.
"Comparative urbanism has few practitioners as distinguished as Janet L. Abu-Lughod. In this monumental study, Professor Abu-Lughod rescues Los Angeles from eccentricity by placing it in comparative context alongside the two most accepted urban paradigms of the United States: New York and Chicago. In doing so, she has added a new city--the City of Angels--to the front ranks of American cities and has significantly enhanced our understanding of New York and Chicago as well." --Kevin Starr, State Librarian of California
"This breathtaking tour through the history of the three largest cities of the United States synthesizes the essentials of their varied history in a readable, lively form. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles is the first book I have seen by a single author who has lived in and become intimately knowledgeable about each of the cities, has plumbed their history, examined statistics, and pulled together a comparison that places the data and accounts in the context of personal experience. Abu-Lughod concludes the book with a set of human vignettes that captures differences and similarities among the cities, in the lived experience of a user and employer of each of the cities." --Peter Marcuse, Columbia University
"A masterful comparative history of the three cities. Abu-Lughod's scholarship is impeccable and her book extremely well written." --John Friedmann, Professor Emeritus, UCLA, author of Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression and California and The Dream Endures: California Enters the 1940s.
Janet L. Abu-Lughod, professor emerita of sociology of Northwestern University and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, has been writing about and studying cities for more than fifty years. Her books include From Urban Village to East Village: The Battle for New York's Lower East Side; Changing Cities: Urban Sociology; Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350; Rabat: Urban Apartheid in Morocco; and Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious, among many other publications. In 1999 she received the Robert and Helen Lynd Award (American Sociological Association, Section on Community and Urban Sociology) for distinguished lifetime contributions to the study of cities.
Is there such a thing as Los Angeles poetry? How do we assess a poem about a city as elusive of identity as Los Angeles? What features do poems about this unique urban landscape of diverse peoples and terrains have in common? Poetry Los Angeles is the first book to gather and analyze poems about sites as different as Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice beaches, the freeways, downtown, South Central and East L.A. Laurence Goldstein presents original commentary on six decades of poets who have contributed to the iconography and poetics of Los Angeles literature, including Elizabeth Alexander, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Dorothy Barresi, Victoria Chang, Wanda Coleman, Dana Gioia, Joy Harjo, James Harms, Robert Hass, Eloise Klein Healy, Garrett Hongo, Suzanne Lummis, Paul Monette, Harryette Mullen, Carol Muske-Dukes, Frederick Seidel, Gary Soto, Timothy Steele, Diane Wakoski, Derek Walcott, and Charles Harper Webb. Forty poems are reproduced in their entirety.
One chapter is devoted to Charles Bukowski, the celebrity face of the city’s poetry. Other chapters discuss the ways that poets explore “Interiors” and “Exteriors” throughout the cityscape. Goldstein also provides ample connections to the novels, films, art, and politics of Southern California. In clear prose, Poetry Los Angeles examines the strategies by which poets make significant places meaningful and memorable to readers of every region of the U.S. and elsewhere.
Policing Space is a fascinating firsthand account of how the Los Angeles Police Department attempts to control its vast, heterogeneous territory. As such, the book offers a rare, ground-level look at the relationship between the control of space and the exercise of power.
Author Steve Herbert spent eight months observing one patrol division of the LAPD on the job. A compelling story in itself, his fieldwork with the officers in the Wilshire Division affords readers a close view of the complex factors at play in how the police define and control territory, how they make and mark space.
A remarkable ethnography of a powerful police department, underscored throughout with telling on-the-scene vignettes, this book is also an unusually intensive analysis of the exercise of territorial power--and of territoriality as a key component of police power. Unique in its application of fieldwork and theory to this complex subject, it should prove valuable to readers in urban and political geography, urban and political sociology, and criminology, as well as those who wonder about the workings of the LAPD.
"Gives us the kind of fly-on-the-wall, first person observations that journalists dream of and readers find enthralling. Let's hope the members of the police commission give it a read while they fight the battle Willie Williams lost to reform a department that still very much belongs to Parker and Gates." --LA Weekly Literary Supplement
"This book is not a rehash of the time-worn cliches about the LAPD. It is a highly imaginative discussion of the meaning of territoriality in determining how police respond to citizens, to each other, and to their command structure based on space and its relationship to the exercise of power." --Law Enforcement News
"This is a fascinating book; well written cogently argued, chock-full of insights about police behavior, and an all-around good read." --Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management
"A fine book and a good read." --Contemporary Sociology
"Excellent book. A vivid and compelling analysis of the territoriality of routine police work on the streets of LA. The central argument is as clear as the message on the police tape, namely that territorial action os a fundamental component of everyday police behavior; and it is as authoritative, for it is built upon an intensive period of participant observation with LA cops. There is no doubt that this book is a major interdisciplinary contribution." --Environment and Planning D Society & Space
"Is a creative, engaging analysis expressed in a clear theoretical and conceptual framework. Herbert is able to vivdly demonstrate the importance of spatial context to an understanding of social action. With geographic perspectives rapidly growing in importance in policing, this unique contribution is particularly welcome." --Professional Geographer
"This book should be widely read, given the current ascendance of law and order culture and increasing demands for the policing of space." --Environment and Planning A
Territoriality and the Police
The Setting and the Research
The Law and Police Territoriality
The Bureaucratic Ordering of Police Territoriality
Adventure/Machismo and the Attempted Conquest of Space
Safety and Police Territoriality
Competence in Police Territoriality
The Morality of Police Territoriality
Making and Marking Space with the LAPD
Steve Herbert teaches criminal justice and geography at Indiana University.
This book explores the origins and history of the modern American movement for homosexual rights, which originated in Los Angeles in the late 1940s and continues today. Part ethnography and part social history, it is a detailed account of the history of the movement as manifested through the emergence of four related organizations: Mattachine, ONE Incorporated, the Homosexual Information Center (HIC), and the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR), which began doing business as ONE Incorporated when the two organizations merged in 1995. Pre-Gay L.A. is a chronicle of how one clandestine special interest association emerged as a powerful political force that spawned several other organizations over a period of more than sixty years.
Relying on extended interviews with participants as well as a full review of the archives of the Homosexual Information Center, C. Todd White unearths the institutional histories of the gay and lesbian rights movement and the myriad personalities involved, including Mattachine founder Harry Hay; ONE Magazine editors Dale Jennings, Donald Slater, and Irma Wolf; ONE Incorporated founder Dorr Legg; and many others. Fighting to decriminalize homosexuality and to obtain equal rights, the viable organizations that these individuals helped to establish significantly impacted legal policies not only in Los Angeles but across the United States, affecting the lives of most of us living in America today.
Driven by the pressures of poverty and civil strife at home, large numbers of Central Americans came to the Los Angeles area during the 1980's. Neither purely economic migrants, though they were in search of stable work, nor official refugees, although they carried the scars of war and persecution, Guatemalans and Salvadorans were even denied the aid given to refugees such as Cubans and Vietnamese. In addition, these immigrants sought refuge in a city undergoing massive economic and demographic shifts of its own. The result was -- and is -- a complex interaction that will help to reconceptualize the migration experience.
Based on twenty years of work with the Los Angeles Central American community and filled with facts, figures, and personal narratives, Seeking Community in a Global City presents this saga from many perspectives. The authors examine the forces in Central America that sent thousands of people streaming across international borders. They discuss economic, political, and demographic changes in the Los Angeles region and the difficulties the new immigrants faced in negotiating a new, urban environment. They look at family roles, networking, work strategies, and inter-ethnic relations. But they also consider policy issues and alliances, changing expectations, shifting priorities, and the reciprocal effect of the migrants and the city on each other.
On May 8, 1959, the evening news shocked Los Angeles residents, who saw LA County sheriffs carrying a Mexican American woman from her home in Chavez Ravine not far from downtown. Immediately afterward, the house was bulldozed to the ground. This violent act was the last step in the forced eviction of 3,500 families from the unique hilltop barrio that in 1962 became the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
John H. M. Laslett offers a new interpretation of the Chavez Ravine tragedy, paying special attention to the early history of the barrio, the reform of Los Angeles's destructive urban renewal policies, and the influence of the evictions on the collective memory of the Mexican American community.
In addition to examining the political decisions made by power brokers at city hall, Shameful Victory argues that the tragedy exerted a much greater influence on the history of the Los Angeles civil rights movement than has hitherto been appreciated. The author also sheds fresh light on how the community grew, on the experience of individual home owners who were evicted from the barrio, and on the influence that the event had on the development of recent Chicano/a popular music, drama, and literature.
Los Angeles. A city that is synonymous with celebrity and mass-market culture, is also, according to David James, synonymous with social alienation and dispersal. In the communities of Los Angeles, artists, cultural institutions and activities exist in ways that are often concealed from sight, obscured by the powerful presence of Hollywood and its machinations. In this significant collection of original essays, The Sons and Daughters of Los reconstructs the city of Los Angeles with new cultural connections. Explored here are the communities that offer alternatives to the picture of L..A. as a conglomeration of studios and mass media. Each essay examines a particular piece of, or place in, Los Angeles cultural life: from the Beyond Baroque Poetry Foundation, the Woman's Building, to Highways, and LACE, as well as the achievements of these grassroots initiatives. Also included is critical commentary on important artists, including Harry Gamboa, Jr., and others whose work have done much to shape popular culture in L.A. The cumulative effect of reading this book is to see a very different city take shape, one whose cultural landscape is far more innovative and reflective of the diversity of the city's people than mainstream notions of it suggest. The Sons and Daughters of Los offers a substantive and complicated picture of the way culture plays itself it out on the smallest scale—in one of the largest metropolises on earth—contributing to a richer, more textured understanding of the vibrancy of urban life and art.
Named a Best Art Book of 2017 by the New York Times and Artforum
In South of Pico Kellie Jones explores how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.'s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.'s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures. She also attends to these artists' relationships with gallery and museum culture and the establishment of black-owned arts spaces. With South of Pico, Jones expands the understanding of the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond.
Sometime near the start of the 1990s, the future became a place of national decline. The United States had entered a period of great anxiety fueled by the shrinking of the white middle class, the increasingly visible misery of poor urban blacks, and the mass immigration of nonwhites. Perhaps more than any other event marking the passage through these dark years, the 1992 Los Angeles riots have sparked imaginative and critical works reacting to this profound pessimism. Focusing on a wide range of these creative works, Min Hyoung Song shows how the L.A. riots have become a cultural-literary event—an important reference and resource for imagining the social problems plaguing the United States and its possible futures.
Song considers works that address the riots and often the traumatic place of the Korean American community within them: the independent documentary Sa-I-Gu (Korean for April 29, the date the riots began), Chang-rae Lee’s novel Native Speaker, the commercial film Strange Days, and the experimental drama of Anna Deavere Smith, among many others. He describes how cultural producers have used the riots to examine the narrative of national decline, manipulating language and visual elements, borrowing and refashioning familiar tropes, and, perhaps most significantly, repeatedly turning to metaphors of bodily suffering to convey a sense of an unraveling social fabric. Song argues that these aesthetic experiments offer ways of revisiting the traumas of the past in order to imagine more survivable futures.
Though notorious for its polluted air today, the city of Los Angeles once touted itself as a health resort. After the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in 1876, publicists launched a campaign to portray the city as the promised land, circulating countless stories of miraculous cures for the sick and debilitated. As more and more migrants poured in, however, a gap emerged between the city’s glittering image and its dark reality.
Emily K. Abel shows how the association of the disease with “tramps” during the 1880s and 1890s and Dust Bowl refugees during the 1930s provoked exclusionary measures against both groups. In addition, public health officials sought not only to restrict the entry of Mexicans (the majority of immigrants) during the 1920s but also to expel them during the 1930s.
Abel’s revealing account provides a critical lens through which to view both the contemporary debate about immigration and the U.S. response to the emergent global tuberculosis epidemic.
Karen Kaufmann's groundbreaking study shows that perceptions of interracial conflict can cause voters in local elections to focus on race, rather than party attachments or political ideologies. Using public opinion data to examine mayoral elections in New York and Los Angeles over the past 35 years, Kaufmann develops a contextual theory of local voting behavior that accounts for the Republican victories of the 1990s in these overwhelmingly Democratic cities and the "liberal revivals" that followed. Her conclusions cast new light on the interactions between government institutions, local economies, and social diversity. The Urban Voter offers a critical analysis of urban America's changing demographics and the ramifications of these changes for the future of American politics.
This book will interest scholars and students of urban politics, racial politics, and voting behavior; the author's interdisciplinary approach also incorporates theoretical insights from sociology and social psychology. The Urban Voter is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate level courses.
Karen Kaufmann is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park.