The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Transformation of Los Angeles

The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Transformation of Los Angeles

by Margaret Leslie Davis
     
 

Franklin Murphy? It's not a name that is widely known; even during his lifetime the public knew little of him. But for nearly thirty years, Murphy was the dominant figure in the cultural development of Los Angeles. Behind the scenes, Murphy used his role as confidant, family friend, and advisor to the founders and scions of some of America's greatest

Overview

Franklin Murphy? It's not a name that is widely known; even during his lifetime the public knew little of him. But for nearly thirty years, Murphy was the dominant figure in the cultural development of Los Angeles. Behind the scenes, Murphy used his role as confidant, family friend, and advisor to the founders and scions of some of America's greatest fortunes—Ahmanson, Rockefeller, Ford, Mellon, and Annenberg—to direct the largesse of the wealthy into cultural institutions of his choosing.
In this first full biography of Franklin D. Murphy (1916-994), Margaret Leslie Davis delivers the compelling story of how Murphy, as chancellor of UCLA and later as chief executive of the Times Mirror media empire, was able to influence academia, the media, and cultural foundations to reshape a fundamentally provincial city. The Culture Broker brings to light the influence of L.A.'s powerful families and chronicles the mixed motives behind large public endeavors. Channeling more than one billion dollars into the city's arts and educational infrastructure, Franklin Murphy elevated Los Angeles to a vibrant world-class city positioned for its role in the new era of global trade and cross-cultural arts.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Franklin D. Murphy (1916-1994) may not be a household name, but, as Davis (Dark Side of Fortune: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles) shows in this informative biography, he was singularly influential in the academic, journalistic and artistic development of Los Angeles. Once dubbed the "doge" of that city, he left an indelible imprint on UCLA, of which he was chancellor during the '60s and expanded its academic programs to make it a world-class university (he resigned in 1968, beleaguered to the point of depression by student protesters on one hand and conservative alumni and politicians on the other); on the media, as CEO of Times Mirror, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times; on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as a philanthropist and trustee. Because Davis tells not just Murphy's story but the story of Los Angeles coming into its own, many important Californians-Ronald Reagan, fund-raiser Dorothy Chandler, Eldridge Cleaver-make cameo appearances. Although Davis occasionally gets bogged down in the minutiae of institutional history, this is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the history of California or of American higher education. 33 b&w photos. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520224957
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
08/20/2007
Pages:
495
Sales rank:
1,011,682
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Leslie Davis is a California lawyer and is also the author of Dark Side of Fortune: Triumph and Scandal in the Life of Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny (UC Press, 1998) and Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles (1993), for which she won the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award in nonfiction.

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