Catalogue


Popular culture in the age of white flight : fear and fantasy in suburban Los Angeles /
Eric Avila.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
description
xx, 308 p.
ISBN
0520241215 (cloth : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
isbn
0520241215 (cloth : acid-free paper)
catalogue key
5220430
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"In Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight, Eric Avila offers a unique argument about the restructuring of urban space in the two decades following World War II and the role played by new suburban spaces in dramatically transforming the political culture of the United States. Avila's work helps us see how and why the postwar suburb produced the political culture of 'balanced budget conservatism' that is now the dominant force in politics, how the eclipse of the New Deal since the 1970s represents not only a change of views but also an alteration of spaces."--George Lipsitz, author ofThe Possessive Investment in Whiteness
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-04-01:
Avila (UCLA) writes about the culture of suburbanization and white flight from Los Angeles, 1940-70, especially as exemplified by Hollywood, film noir, Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, and freeways. The author offers a critical study of whiteness and considers the evolution of white racial identity. There is no doubt this is an important book, though undoubtedly much more compatible with the mainstream paradigm of history than the oppositional history of radical historians. This apparent retreat to the old paradigm, which talks about race and not the victims, submerges Mexican identity in the whiteness of the narrative. The book often distracts the reader from the themes of race and white flight. This reviewer, whose political biases play a role here, argues with Avila's interpretation of the film Double Indemnity; Avila, along with other authors, sees this film as a reaction of Hollywood's Left to the loss of patriotic hopes during the "Good War." Double Indemnity represented a radical departure from the law-and-order films of the time and challenged Hays Office censorship politics. Although Avila critiques "bourgeois splendor tempting adultery and murder," he fails to make clear the linkages between the film and racism and white flight and class. However, these criticisms should in no way detract from the book's importance. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. R. Acu^D na California State University, Northridge
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2005
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Summaries
Long Description
Los Angeles pulsed with economic vitality and demographic growth in the decades following World War II. This vividly detailed cultural history of L.A. from 1940 to 1970 traces the rise of a new suburban consciousness adopted by a generation of migrants who abandoned older American cities for Southern California's booming urban region. Eric Avila explores expressions of this new "white identity" in popular culture with provocative discussions of Hollywood and film noir, Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, and L.A.'s renowned freeways. These institutions not only mirrored this new culture of suburban whiteness and helped shape it, but also, as Avila argues, reveal the profound relationship between the increasingly fragmented urban landscape of Los Angeles and the rise of a new political outlook that rejected the tenets of New Deal liberalism and anticipated the emergence of the New Right. Avila examines disparate manifestations of popular culture in architecture, art, music, and more to illustrate the unfolding urban dynamics of postwar Los Angeles. He also synthesizes important currents of new research in urban history, cultural studies, and critical race theory, weaving a textured narrative about the interplay of space, cultural representation, and identity amid the westward shift of capital and culture in postwar America.
Short Annotation
Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight surveys the cultural history of Los Angeles in the decades between 1940 and 1970, illustrating how a regional pattern of decentralized urbanization gave shape to a new "white" suburban identity.
Unpaid Annotation
"Eric Avila offers a unique argument about the restructuring of urban space in the two decades following World War II and the role played by new suburban spaces in dramatically transforming the political culture of the United States. Avila's work helps us see how and why the postwar suburb produced the political culture of 'balanced budget conservatism' that is now the dominant force in politics, how the eclipse of the New Deal since the 1970s represents not only a change of views but also an alteration of spaces." --George Lipsitz, author of "The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
Bowker Data Service Summary
Eric Avila examines the changing urban environment of Los Angeles between 1940 & 1970, as white migrants flooded into the city's new suburbs from other US cities. He explores how the environment developed to reflect the aspirations of these incomers.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Chocolate Cities and Vanilla Suburbs: Race, Space, and the New "New Mass Culture" of Postwar America
The Nation's "White Spot": Racializing Postwar Los Angeles
The Spectacle of Urban Blight: Hollywood's Rendition of a Black Los Angeles
"A Rage for Order": Disneyland and the Suburban Ideal
Suburbanizing the City Center: The Dodgers Move West
The Sutured City: Tales of Progress and Disaster in the Freeway Metropolis
Epilogue
The 1960s and Beyond
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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