The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America

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Oxford University Press, Sep 20, 2010 - History - 336 pages
Southern California has long been promoted as the playground of the world, the home of resort-style living, backyard swimming pools, and year-round suntans. Tracing the history of Southern California from the late nineteenth century through the late twentieth century, The Frontier of Leisure reveals how this region did much more than just create lavish resorts like Santa Catalina Island and Palm Springs--it literally remade American attitudes towards leisure. Lawrence Culver shows how this "culture of leisure" gradually took hold with an increasingly broad group of Americans, and ultimately manifested itself in suburban developments throughout the Sunbelt and across the United States. He further shows that as Southern Californians promoted resort-style living, they also encouraged people to turn inward, away from public spaces and toward their private homes and communities. Impressively researched, a fascinating and lively read, this finely nuanced history connects Southern Californian recreation and leisure to larger historical themes, including regional development, architecture and urban planning, race relations, Indian policy, politics, suburbanization, and changing perceptions of nature.
 

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Contents

The View from Fantasyland to Main Street USA
1
INVENTING THE FRONTIER OF LEISURE Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Creation of the Great Southwest
15
THE CITY OF LEISURE The Contested History of Public Recreation in Los Angeles
52
THE ISLAND OF LEISURE Tourism and the Transformation of Santa Catalina Island 18871919
83
IN ALL THE WORLD NO TRIP LIKE THIS Santa Catalina in the Wrigley Era
113
THE OASIS OF LEISURE Palm Springs before 1941
139
MAKING THE DESERT MODERN Palm Springs after World War II
170
FROM RESORTS TO THE RANCH HOUSE Southern Californias Culture of Leisure and the Making of the Suburban Sunbelt
198
The View from Mount San Jacinto
239
NOTES
253
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
291
INDEX
309
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Lawrence Culver is Associate Professor of History at Utah State University.

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