City of Quartz

City of Quartz

Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

Book - 2018
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A fiercely elegant and wide-ranging history of L.A.'s Dickensian extremes and Pynchonesque conspiracies.
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY : Verso, 2018.
Edition: Paperback edition.
ISBN: 9781786635891
Branch Call Number: 306.09794 DAVIS 2018
Characteristics: xxvii, 481 pages : illustrations, map ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Morrow, Robert - Photographer


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Jul 25, 2017

An interesting time capsule of an objective (and perhaps naive) view of Los Angeles just before the 1992 LA riots. A thorough analysis of the socio-economic conditions that juxtaposed the wealthy and desperately poor who lived and worked literally blocks from each other. Sort of prescient as a precursor of today's widely acknowledged nationwide wealth inequality.

After a while however, the book starts to become a recitation of dry facts, reaching a nadir when discussing school boards and homeowners associations for dozens of pages. But then it all perks up for the last chapter on Fontana, CA and the colossal Kaiser Ironworks which almost doomed the town with its toxic exhaust and the waste left after it was closed. Closes the book nicely concluding its theme of California as a false paradise. Note: check out this link for a view of the Fontana plant ruins in a surreal music video.


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