Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the City and County

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9780520202740: Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the City and County

Few cities captivate the imagination as does Los Angeles. It is the locus of spectaculars: movies, earthquakes, freeways, riots, sunsets. In this fascinating desk reference, Leonard and Dale Pitt have gathered a sweeping array of information on the City of Angels. Bolstering their historical and humanistic approach with scientific and technical information, the Pitts include alphabetically arranged entries on history, geography, automobile culture, sports, movies, current events, architecture, flora, fauna, scandals, biography, the arts, politics, neighborhoods, and ethnic, racial, and religious groups. Quotations throughout provide provocative and amusing tidbits about the city that has been called "the fulfillment of the American Dream." Copiously illustrated and wonderfully anecdotal, this is a book for anyone with a question, large or small, about Los Angeles.

"It's a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there."—Mark Twain

"At heart, Los Angeles is a vast cross-section of the Corn Belt set down incongruously in a Maxfield Parrish setting."—Irwin S. Cobb

"Hollywood is wonderful. Anyone who doesn't like it is either crazy or sober."—Raymond Chandler

"Great weather and automobiles."—Jamal Wilkes

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Review:

People complain that Los Angeles is chaos, a massive tangle of freeways and boulevards, gangs, and movie stars. Leonard and Dale Pitt bring organization to the confusion with an encyclopedia that runs from Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem to Zuma County Beach, covering the people, places, events, and icons that make up the city and county of Los Angeles. The famous neighborhoods of Hollywood and Watts are there, as are the lesser-known Winnetka and El Sereno. There are entries on when and where the smog began, how the movie industry was established, which trees are native, and just who the Black Dahlia was. With appendices covering chronology, the 1990 census, and government organizations, Los Angeles A to Z is an exceptionally well-done resource, and a welcome addition to the shelves of any Los Angelaphile, scholar, or visitor who seeks a self-guided tour.

From the Inside Flap:

"Los Angeles cannot be contained by any one description or category. Thanks to the ancient miracle of the alphabet, to their wide-ranging scholarship, and to their personal knowledge of this distinctive city, Leonard and Dale Pitt have come as close as anyone to squeezing the breathtaking variety of this multitudinous, complex city between the covers of one book."—Dr. Kevin Starr, State Librarian of California

"Captures the fascination and downright zaniness of the City of Angels in a manner that is appealing to both the serious researcher and the casual browser. . . . An exemplary aspect of the encyclopedia is its inclusiveness. . . . Serious researchers will fast find themselves sidetracked into the seemingly inexhaustible details and trivia found in this volume."—Melissa Rae Root, American Reference Books Annual

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