Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018

Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018 Review

A rich mosaic of diary entries and letters from Marilyn Monroe, Cesar Chavez, Susan Sontag, Albert Einstein, and many more, this is the story of Los Angeles as told by locals, transplants, and some just passing through.

The City of Angels has played a distinct role in the hearts, minds, and imaginations of millions of people, who see it as the ultimate symbol of the American Dream. David Kipen, a cultural historian and avid scholar of Los Angeles, has scoured libraries, archives, and private estates to assemble a kaleidoscopic view of a truly unique city.

From the Spanish missionary expeditions in the early 1500s to the Golden Age of Hollywood to the strange new world of social media, this collection is a slice of life in L.A. through the years. The pieces are arranged by date--January 1st to December 31st--featuring selections from different decades and centuries. What emerges is a vivid tapestry of insights, personal discoveries, and wry observations that together distill the essence of the city.

As sprawling and magical as the city itself, Dear Los Angeles is a fascinating, must-have collection for everyone in, from, or touched by Southern California.

With excerpts from the writing of Ray Bradbury - Edgar Rice Burroughs - Octavia E. Butler - Italo Calvino - Winston Churchill - No�l Coward - Simone De Beauvoir - James Dean - T. S. Eliot - William Faulkner - Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Richard Feynman - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Allen Ginsberg - Dashiell Hammett - Charlton Heston - Zora Neale Hurston - Christopher Isherwood - John Lennon - H. L. Mencken - Ana�s Nin - Sylvia Plath - Ronald Reagan - Joan Rivers - James Thurber - Dalton Trumbo - Evelyn Waugh - Tennessee Williams - P. G. Wodehouse - and many more

Advance praise for Dear Los Angeles

"This book's a brilliant constellation, spread out over a few centuries and five thousand square miles. Each tiny entry pins the reality of the great unreal city of Angels to a moment in human time--moments enthralled, appalled, jubilant, suffering, gossiping or bragging--and it turns out, there's no better way to paint a picture of the place."--Jonathan Lethem

"[A] scintillating collection of letters and diary entries . . . an engrossing trove of colorful, witty insights."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Title:Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Scott S.

    "Looks like another perfect day - I love L.A. ! (We love it!)" -- singer/songwriter Randy NewmanRipen assembles various journal, diary, or blog entries from actors (Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Charlto...

  • Sherwood Smith

    This book could have been written for me.I collect letters and diaries, as I find firsthand glimpses of the past so much more interesting than fiction written through a modern lens, or historical trea...

  • Beth Cato

    I received an early version of the book via NetGalley.Kipen approached the history and development of Los Angeles in an intriguing, unique way: day by day. The book is essentially arranged like a dail...

  • Boz

    When celebrated food critic Jonathan Gold passed away recently, one of his most popular quotes was circulated around the internet: "If you live in Los Angeles, you are used to having your city explain...

  • Bonnye Reed

    GNab I found the construction of this collection of diary and letter offerings and fantasies intriguing. Rather than set out, as tradition would dictate, in year sequence, David Kipen has organized hi...

  • Adam

    I'm not sure how much you'll learn about the actual city of Los Angeles by reading this book, but you WILL learn a fair bit about the editor's idea of Los Angeles. This is the untold story of an eclec...

  • Laurie

    This book has an unusual layout: there is an entry for every day of the year, but the *year* the entry is from varies from 1542 through 2018. The entries are chosen from letters and diaries. Each one ...

  • Literary Soirée

    I so wanted to love DEAR LOS ANGELES by David Kipen, L. A. native, former literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts and book editor/critic of the San Francisco Chronicle. The potentia...

  • Melise

    I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I actually did. I am a native Angeleno, and I studied Los Angeles history for my master's degree, so I was already fairly familiar with many of the situati...

  • Natalie

    DEAR LOS ANGELES is a collection of ephemera about the history of, and life, in LA. The author chose to place all these glimpses into LA history with no particular order. I cannot understand the logic...