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Material dreams : Southern California through the 1920s

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In Material Dreams, Starr turns to one of the most vibrant decades in the Golden State's history, the 1920s, when some two million Americans migrated to California, the vast majority settling in or around Los Angeles. Although he treats readers to intriguing side trips to Santa Barbara and Pasadena, Starr focuses here mainly on Los Angeles, revealing how this major city arose almost defiantly on a site lacking many  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Robinson Jeffers; Una Jeffers; Robinson Jeffers; Una Jeffers
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Kevin Starr
ISBN: 0195044878 9780195044874
OCLC Number: 20012405
Description: xiv, 453 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Prophesying through water : hydraulic visions and historical metaphors --
Imperial ironies : the dreams and realities of social irrigation --
Aqueduct cities : foundations of urban empire --
From Oz to Oildorado : the rise of Los Angeles in the 1920s --
Boosting Babylon : planning, development, and ballyhoo in jazz-age Los Angeles --
The people of the city : oligarchs, babbitts, and folks --
USC, electricity, music, and cops : the emergence of institutional Los Angeles --
Designs for living : architecture in southern California, from the Bradbury Building to the Watts Towers --
Anacapa and Arcadia : the Santa Barbara heritage --
Castles in Spain : the Santa Barbara alternative --
Opinion and the aristocracy of art : the search for common ground in emergent Los Angeles --
The book triumphant : bibliophilia and Bohemia in greater Los Angeles --
On the blue train through Dijon : Pasadena begins its literary career --
Material dreams.
Responsibility: Kevin Starr.
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Abstract:

The third volume in Kevin Starr's history of California, which traces the development of the state and its meaning for Americans in terms of the mythical "American dream".  Read more...

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schema:description"In Material Dreams, Starr turns to one of the most vibrant decades in the Golden State's history, the 1920s, when some two million Americans migrated to California, the vast majority settling in or around Los Angeles. Although he treats readers to intriguing side trips to Santa Barbara and Pasadena, Starr focuses here mainly on Los Angeles, revealing how this major city arose almost defiantly on a site lacking many of the advantages required for urban development, creating itself out of sheer will, the Great Gatsby of American cities. He describes how William Ellsworth Smyth, the Peter the Hermit of the Irrigation Crusade, propounded the importance of water in Southern California's future, and how such figures as the self-educated, Irish engineer William Mulholland (who built the main aquaducts to Los Angeles) and George Chaffey (who diverted the Colorado River, transforming desert into the lush Imperial Valley) brought life-supporting water to the arid South. He examines the discovery of oil ("Yes it's oil, oil, oil / that makes LA boil," went the official drinking song of the Uplifters Club), the boosters and land developers, the evangelists (such as Bob Shuler, the Methodist Savanarola of Los Angeles, and Aimee Semple McPherson), and countless other colorful figures of the period. There are also fascinating sections on the city's architecture (such as the remarkably innovative Bradbury Building and its eccentric, neophyte designer, George Wyman), the impact of the automobile on city planning, the great antiquarian book collections, the Hollywood film community, and much more. By the end of the decade, Los Angeles had tripled in population and become the fifth largest city in the nation. In Material Dreams, Kevin Starr captures this explosive growth in a narrative tour de force that combines wide-ranging scholarship with captivating prose."@en
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