Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory (Haymarket)” as Want to Read:
The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory (Haymarket)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory (Haymarket)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Book by Klein, Norman M.
Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 17th 1997 by Verso (first published April 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The History of Forgetting, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The History of Forgetting

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 381)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 07, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An ambitious and utterly powerful, staggering, work of urban history and the history of planning, concerned with how LA has time after time reinvented itself, often to the chagrin of long-time residents. There is, in essence, the author argues no historical Los Angeles but only the present-tense. The author, a professor of history and long-time resident of LA himself, picks up where Mike Davis left off with his seminal City of Quartz, refining the working theory of how Los Angeles began building ...more
Apr 24, 2016 Debra rated it really liked it
I probably shouldn't write a review of this, as I didn't finish it due to getting crazy busy with other stuff and having to return it to the library. That was too bad as what I read was surprisingly good for an academic book. It takes an art historical critique of urbanism and urban planning in Los Angeles and stretches it from your usual academic writing about this sort of thing to a number of fictional pieces (including one that imagines Walter Benjamin in LA!) and a whole bunch of psychogeogr ...more
"So do not get confused by the glitz. Outwardly, scripted places like Victoria Gardens, or Citywalk, or the Grove may look anti-urban; artificial [...] They seem to epitomize neoliberalism, where every public act is privatized [...] But actually this is meta-urbanism: a metropolitanized suburb (a way to grow public money) [...] The message is paradoxical. These scripted illusions are monuments to the independence of cities, but also to private wealth taking over [...] [C]ities must turn in to de ...more
Jul 06, 2015 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled to finish the book. If the writer fills Part V Conclusion with 4 chapters: Chapter 12 , Appendix, Afterword and Epilogue, he makes clear to me that he finds it hard to choose what to tell and what to leave out. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading so many narratives and witnessing how Klein dismantles these narratives about Los Angeles. It certainly deepens my understanding of this "hard-to-get" city. Klein states that LA is a master in erasing and forgetting its history and he proves his ...more
Patricia L.
May 08, 2015 Patricia L. rated it really liked it
This book is like no other I have read. Even if you don't remember that you are interested in LA, it is brilliant way to write about a place.
Jul 28, 2011 Malcolm rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-studies
LA is one of those cities we all like to think we know, after all we see it in our mass and popular cultural texts, hear it in the news, read it all over - its sheer ubiquity makes it a know. Norman Klein challenges that notion to argue that our knowledge of LA is a kbowledge based on forgetting, that is popular and mass cultural texts make LA an unknown and continually invwented and reconstrcuted before our very eyes. Contrarian and as such quite brilliantly insightful.
Mar 14, 2012 Rebecca is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It is always dangerous to post an academic book as it is easy for them to go unfinished. That said, so far this book is incredible! I am absolutely loving it and it is speaking to the intersection of a whole lot of stuff I am currently fascinated by. Note: Goodreads has just made me aware there is an updated version. That is not the one I'm reading but now I hope to rectify that situation :(
Nov 30, 2008 Raina rated it really liked it
delightful account of the history (or erasure of) of LA. loved the chapter about LA in the cinematic imagination (like Blade runner etc). for urbanists or anything interesting in cities of the future.
Maxwell Harwitt
Feb 13, 2013 Maxwell Harwitt rated it it was ok
"Why do research when I can just write a whole book of history and earn a teaching position from conjectures based on the little I currently know about the subject?"
I read this for a class, so it was inevitably tedious at times. It didn't help that there were typos...
Aug 30, 2008 Katy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
wonderful book. a must read for anyone who is interested in los angeles history and cultural theory.
Terri rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2016
Alyssa Loera
Alyssa Loera marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2016
Ahm marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2016
Grace marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2016
Mac marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2016
Obidiegwu Esther
Obidiegwu Esther marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
Sydney marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Michael rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2016
Dadin is currently reading it
Sep 09, 2016
Karen Chu
Karen Chu is currently reading it
Aug 31, 2016
Jonas marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
Liz Cordingley
Liz Cordingley marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2016
Fabrice Ziolkowski
Fabrice Ziolkowski marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2016
Inez marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Dan added it
Jul 27, 2016
Miychen marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Southern California: An Island on the Land
  • Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies
  • Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster
  • Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir
  • William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles
  • The BLDGBLOG Book
  • Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape
  • The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History
  • Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life
  • Writing Los Angeles: a Literary Anthology
  • Terryworld
  • Content
  • 'There Ain't no Black in the Union Jack': The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation
  • The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo
  • You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger
  • Seven American Deaths and Disasters
  • 2500 Random Things About Me Too
  • The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America (Volume 2) (Haymarket Series)

Share This Book