William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles

Catherine Mulholland

Published by University of California Press, 2000
ISBN 10: 0520217241 / ISBN 13: 9780520217249
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Catherine Mulholland's biography of her grandfather and his role in the development of Los Angeles. Signed on the title page. Near Fine, in Near Fine, Un-Clipped D. J. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: William Mulholland presided over the creation of a water system that forever changed the course of southern California's history. Mulholland, a self-taught engineer, was the chief architect of the Owens Valley Aqueduct—a project ranking in magnitude and daring with the Panama Canal—that brought water to semi-arid Los Angeles from the lush Owens Valley. The story of Los Angeles's quest for water is both famous and notorious: it has been the subject of the classic yet historically distorted movie Chinatown, as well as many other accounts. This first full-length biography of Mulholland challenges many of the prevailing versions of his life story and sheds new light on the history of Los Angeles and its relationship with its most prized resource: water.

Catherine Mulholland, the engineer's granddaughter, provides insights into this story that family familiarity affords, and adds to our historical understanding with extensive primary research in sources such as Mulholland's recently uncovered office files, newspapers, and Department of Water and Power archives. She scrutinizes Mulholland's life—from his childhood in Ireland to his triumphant completion of the Owens Valley Aqueduct to the tragedy that ended his career. This vivid portrait of a rich chapter in the history of Los Angeles is enhanced with a generous selection of previously unpublished photographs.

Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction Book of 2000

From the Inside Flap: "William Mulholland was a famed and infamous water and civil engineer, best known for two extraordinary moments in the environmental history of California, one a colossal success, the other an equally stunning failure. The first is the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the second is the building of the fated St. Francis Dam, which came crashing down in 1928. Catherine Mulholland deals with her grandfather's alpha and omega moments dispassionately and in detail. But in between those events are more than a decade in the life of the great engineer and potential politician, and we gain a rich profile of the entire era here. This is a richly detailed, well-written life of a critical figure in the history of Los Angeles and the modern American West. It is an important contribution."—William Deverell, author of Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad

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Bibliographic Details

Title: William Mulholland and the Rise of Los ...
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Edition: 1st Edition

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