More Westside Stories: How the Westside of Los Angeles Developed
by Michael Harris with Godfrey Harris
The Americas Group

"Enjoy the journey with us from the Westside's past into a glimps of its future."

The Harris brothers share one hundred fascinating years of Los Angeles’ Westside history. Raised in Westside’s Cheviot Hills, the authors are uniquely qualified to trace its evolution from semiarid farms and ranches to a sparkling cultural and entertainment oasis. This striking coffee table book provides not just a litany of facts and figures but an entertaining, illustrated, and star-studded evolutionary narrative that animates the people, elements, and events that transformed the region. It benefited from forward-thinking real estate entrepreneurs and the outsized roles of golf and film studios, while dealing with the complexities of transportation and water supplies.

Major players’ names appear in bold type, which enables perusal or a quick skim. Well-organized content, a table of illustrations, and thorough index help pinpoint areas of interest, such as famous people, movie studios, and why the Westside and LA proper never merged. Especially interesting is the transportation section, which explains how its topography and congestion make Westside uniquely suited for self-driving cars. Stretching 180 square miles from the Pacific Ocean to La Brea Avenue and from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Los Angeles airport (LAX), the Westside is also a potential testing ground for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop technology, which whisks cars underground at speeds of 600 to 1,000 miles per hour.

The authors establish the Westside as much more than “seven suburbs in search of a city,” as New Yorker Magazine critic Alexander Woollcott put it, especially when the suburbs are Beverly Hills, Culver City, Inglewood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Westwood. Westside comes alive as a vibrant community created by the “Big Bang” of real estate, racism, anti-Semitism, air pollution, transportation, shopping, tourism, and the golf and entertainment industries. Third in a series of Westside stories, this captivating, heartfelt, and delightfully readable reference is a must on anybody’s coffee table.

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