Ian's Reviews > The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory

The History of Forgetting by Norman M. Klein
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's review
Mar 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: los-angeles, urban-planning, american-history, non-fiction, accd-media-design-practices
Read from March 27 to April 08, 2011

"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 destination resorts [...]" (327).

"Of course, Los Angeles merely joins a national, even global trend [...] It offers newly scrubbed historicism -- erasure posing as memory. It is a social imaginary for the industrial city: it misremembers wartime L.A., before downtown 'vanished'" (329).

"But we should not dismiss this retro-future downtown as merely a 'fake'. Simply put, we live in an age dominated by Artifice" (331).

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03/27/2011 page 228

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