One need not go totalistic about this or any other book coming from a True Believer at either end of the political spectrum. Davis may =be= an over-the-top, over-identified-with-the-underdog, welfare-spraying ward healer (it gets worse in the later chapters), but that doesn't mean his observations should be ignored.
Having worked for several of the major downtown LA movers and shakers (Bank of America, Atlantic-Richfield, the Chandler-era Los Angeles Times (for Vance Stickle), Federated Department Stores, Carter-Hawley-Hale, the Los Angeles Central City Association (for former deputy mayor Steve Gavin)) as well as several of the major residential and commercial developers of the surrounding communities (American-Pacesetter (for John Klug), Pacific Mutual Life Insurance, Ernest W. Hahn, Cadillac-Fairview Ltd., the Alaska Teamsters Union Pension Fund, MCO Properties (for Charles Hurwitz), Landmark Land Company (for Ernie Vossler), Kohlberg-Kravis-Roberts via KSL Land) as a paid informer -- and dis-informer -- during the Central Business District Redevelopment campaign in 1975 and numerous municipal approval campaigns before and after, I was far enough inside to know that Davis was, as well.
Money talks, BS walks. The Big Boys knew this then, and they know it now. No one that I know of, however, has Pieced It All Together as elegantly and definitively, however rambling, tangential and (possibly) difficult to follow Davis's prose becomes at times. I respect the fact that having been there helps, but for the graduate -- or even upper-division undergrad -- student Looking for Clues, this is a gold mine... and not just about Los Angeles or even southern California. In most ways, this =is= the way things work pretty much everywhere.
History of Quartz Paperback – 31 January 2001
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- Language : English
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679738061
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Amazon.com: 68 reviews
Polemics Galore, but Clues in Abundance, as Well27 April 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
26 people found this helpful
James Craig Dalrymple
One of my favorite books26 January 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
Hands down one of my favorite books of all time. I started seeing Los Angeles in a completely different way after reading this. Like, I literally started noticing things about the physical environment I had never noticed before. It's a long, deep read, but very worth it.
5 people found this helpful
Impressive16 April 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
I have lived 5 years in Los Angeles and I have to say reading this book has completely changed my perception of the city. Coming from another continent, names like Hollywood and Beverly Hills were familiar to me before arrival, but I knew nothing about Pasadena "Old Money" or South Central struggles. And even after years living here, I had some notions of the city history but I was far away from the rich and complex web of relationships unveiled by this book. Reading this book left me craving for more readings, I think I will go over the book again and read some of the books mentioned in the citations
12 people found this helpful
Essential for anyone living in Los Angeles. This book ...6 April 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Essential for anyone living in Los Angeles. This book is your history. You need to read this and you need to realize how far the city has come.
2 people found this helpful
Davis Hits Gold17 June 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
A remarkable look at the nefarious City of "Angels," its noirish history and its dirty cast of characters. With an updated preface, this book published in 1990 remains amazingly prescient.
7 people found this helpful