Los Angeles Intellectuals

As a guide to understanding the cultural mythology and socio-geographical history of the singular American city that represents both "the utopia and dystopia for advanced capitalism," there is none more incisive than Mike Davis' City of Quartz, a tour de force which offers perhaps the definitive account of the land "south of the Tehachapis" even … Continue reading Los Angeles Intellectuals

Brecht and L.A. as Hell

In the 1930s and 1940s, Los Angeles became a haven for exiled European intellectuals on the run from or protesting fascism. Mike Davis traces their singular mark on the development of L.A.'s cultural self-mythology in his social history of Southern California, City of Quartz; here, the existential melancholia of playwright Bertolt Brecht captures the exiles' typical dismay at … Continue reading Brecht and L.A. as Hell