The City; Los Angeles and Urban Theory at the End of the Twentieth Century, by Allen J. Scott and Edward W. Soja (eds.), Choice, July/August, 1997.

 

The diverse, complicated, and fast-paced development of Los Angeles and its socio- cultural features are the subject of this edited volume.  Fifteen scholars, many representing the newly founded AL.A. School,@ explore this megacity through case-studies, vignettes, illustrations, and theoretical analysis.  Although their conclusions are varied and sometimes conflicting, they help to explain the economic, demographic, and cultural differences between L.A. and older metropolises in the U.S.  Chapters discuss the city=s history and location, transportation system, landscape and aesthetic appeal, urban forms, natural resources, environmental policies/problems, distinctiveness of its architectural and urban design from European cities, industrial and entertainment economies, economic transformation and restructuring, income and racial inequality, and marginalization of blacks, Latinos, and the homeless.  L.A. is said to be Aa city without print.@ It continues to evolve in unconventional, unprecedented, and unpredictable ways.  In describing and theorizing the developments in and features of Los Angeles, authors characterize it as polycentric, heteroglotic, extended, privatized, broadacre, post-Fordist, and postmodern.  The book comprises a collection of some highly theoretical and some relatively descriptive analyses of urban developments in Southern California.  Stimulating and informed discussions of spatial, structural, and cultural developments in a multicultural and global city in the late 20th century.  Graduate; Faculty. __ A.A. Mahdi, Ohio Wesleyan University