The Frontier of Leisure

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

3.63 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 703.06g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195382633
  • 9780195382631

Review quote

"[An] excellent study...The Frontiers of Leisure" is an important contribution to the history of tourism, the history of western United States, and the history of southern California." --Southern California Quarterly"Culver...clearly demonstrates that fun in the sun had serious consequences in terms of urban planning, land use, and race relations." --The Public Historian"Beach tans, bungalows, and the California dream drive historian Culver's smart and insightful exploration of the region's lasting association with tourism and recreation." --Publisher's Weekly"A most entertaining read and highly recommended to anyone interested in the cultural, urban, and environmental histories of the American Southwest."--Sarah Schrank, H-Net"The more Southern California is studied, the more relevant it becomes to understanding the national experience. Lawrence Culver's pioneering study, so superbly managed, chronicles the emergence of leisure as a near-Bill of Rights in the American way of living."--Kevin Starr, University of Southern California"Radiating outward like the rays of its famous sunshine, Southern California's recreational ideas and practices have shaped the lives of Americans and culture of the nation far beyond regional boundaries. Lawrence Culver takes leisure seriously, and we're all the beneficiaries of his insight." --William Deverell, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West"The bright lights of LA have inspired the dreams of millions. In his well-written and often provocative study of how the city became the most successful tourist attraction in history, Lawrence Culver explains how it also inspired new patterns of urban growth and architecture across the United States. Anyone interested in modern sprawl and its curious relation to modern nature cannot afford to miss it." --Louis Warren, University of California, Davis"A wonderfully fresh take on an enduring debate--Is southern Califshow more

About Lawrence Culver

Lawrence Culver is Assistant Professor of History at Utah State more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 37% (7)
3 32% (6)
2 5% (1)
1 5% (1)
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