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Beyond Chinatown: The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California

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Overview


“Erie's persuasive argument that the Metropolitan Water District is one of the creative but flawed designers of Southern California is haunted by forgetfulness: We forget where our water comes from....We forget who manages it for us and why water policy is the most important political decision we never get to make....Unfortunately forgetting is what we're best at. It helps explains why we can't move beyond the myths of Chinatown without stories about Los Angeles as reasoned and convincing as Erie's.”—L.A. Times Book Review

“Water history is tough to write, and no one has done it better than Steven P. Erie in this fast-paced narrative based on monumental research. I marvel at the multi-faceted inclusiveness of this story of water, region, politics, engineering, growth, and the environment.”—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Erie's persuasive argument that the Metropolitan Water District is one of the creative but flawed designers of Southern California is haunted by forgetfulness: We forget where our water comes from....We forget who manages it for us and why water policy is the most important political decision we never get to make....Unfortunately forgetting is what we're best at. It helps explains why we can't move beyond the myths of Chinatown without stories about Los Angeles as reasoned and convincing as Erie's."—L.A. Times Book Review
"Beyond Chinatown's merger of history and policy study, set against debunked myth, should serve as a major reorientation for teaching, researching, and planning, not only in Southern California, but in metropolitan regions throughout the world."—Southern California Quarterly

"Water history is tough to write, and no one has done it better than Steven P. Erie in this fast-paced narrative based on monumental research. I marvel at the multi-faceted inclusiveness of this story of water, region, politics, engineering, growth, and the environment."—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

"In this pathbreaking history of the MWD, Steve Erie brilliantly debunks L.A.'s greatest urban legend and opens bold new perspectives on the secret history of Southern California."—Mike Davis, U.C. Irvine

"Professor Erie lays out for serious students and readers alike a compelling study of the perception and reality of the MET and the major figures and events that define it. The history of real life intrigue revealed is worthy of the Chinatown title, but there is much more here for today's leaders seeking to find a model of success for regional cooperation and accomplishment."—Ron Gastelum, former CEO, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

"In this sweeping history, Erie gives us not only the people, plans, and decisions of a public agency that has allowed a semi-arid region to take water for granted, but also the consequences of those decisions that have assisted in the creation of one of the world's great economies. And then, like a scout at the horizon, he confronts the global challenges facing the future of water for this region—indeed, the future of California. Beyond Chinatown indeed. It's a great read and an important book."—James Flanigan, business and economics Columnist, LA Times and New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804751407
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/17/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Steven P. Erie is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of California, San Diego. His previous books include Globalizing L.A.: Trade, Infrastructure, and Regional Development (Stanford University Press, 2004) and Rainbow's End: Irish Americans and the Dilemmas of Urban Machine Politics (1990).
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