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Los Angeles in the 1930sThe WPA Guide to the City of Angels$
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Federal Writers Project of the Works Project Administration

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520268838

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520268838.001.0001

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The Contemporary Scene

The Contemporary Scene

(p.2) (p.3) The Contemporary Scene
Los Angeles in the 1930s
Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration
University of California Press

This chapter presents a brief overview of the city of Los Angeles, describing its history, population, geography, industry, infrastructure, and cultural life. Los Angeles, the metropolis of southern California and of a vast adjoining area, is often regarded as one of the newer American cities, as an outgrowth of the motion-picture industry and as a creation of the real estate promoter. Actually, however, it is almost as old as the nation itself, having been formally founded and “subdivided” in the year the Revolutionary War ended—more than half a century before Chicago was incorporated. Only a small number of adult Angelenos were born in the city. The majority of the inhabitants have come here in recent years, mostly from the Middle West. The environmental restlessness and novelty-seeking tendency provide a key to the city's distinctive character. They help to explain why new fads, strange cults, wildly mixed styles of architecture, and unusual political and religious movements blossom and flourish so profusely here, making Los Angeles a metropolis of “isms”.

Keywords:   Los Angeles, geography, industry, infrastructure, cultural life

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