7th out of 36 books — 9 voters
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The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth
Three centuries ago, the Los Angeles River meandered through marshes and forests of willow and sycamore. Trout spawned in its waters and grizzly bears roamed its shores. The bountiful environment the river helped create supported one of the largest concentrations of Indians in North America. Today, the river is made almost entirely of concrete. Chain-link fence and barbed ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Johns Hopkins University Press
(first published 1999)
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It can be a bit dry -- both the river and the book. BUT, once you get into, it's truly fascinating to learn how the Los Angeles River was the single most instrumental factor in shaping the city and how it looks today. The first half involving the history is the most interesting; as it looks forward it's a bit less relevant since the book is 15 years old.
This is the incredible story of the settling of the Los Angeles basin as told through the sad history of the Los Angeles River. It turns out the river, which is off the radar of most Angelinos, is the key to understanding the history and geography of this spectacular place. Although the once noble stream, which was lined with willows and cottonwoods and was a home to abundant wildlife, is now nothing more than a deep, wide, concrete-lined ditch, there is always hope that the river can be reborn. ...more
Well written, and provides a very readable history of the Los Angeles river and the city's relationship to the river. I recommend this book for anyone looking to understand how the city developed and its odd relationship with water and the natural tendencies of the regions watershed. This book also give an interesting perspective on local and statewide politics, landuse, water rights and real estate.