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

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

by Lawrence Culver
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA


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

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 nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195382631
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 09/24/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Lawrence Culver is Associate Professor of History at Utah State University.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The View from Fantasyland to Main Street, U.S.A.
1. Inventing the Frontier of Leisure: Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Creation of the "Great Southwest"
2. The City of Leisure: The Contested History of Public Recreation in Los Angeles
3. The Island of Leisure: Tourism and the Transformation of Santa Catalina Island, 1887-1919
4. Westward the Course of Leisure Takes Its Way: Santa Catalina in the Wrigley Era
5. The Oasis of Leisure: Palm Springs before 1941
6. Making the Desert Modern: Palm Springs after World War II
7. From Resorts to the Ranch House: Southern California's Culture of Leisure and the Making of the Suburban Sunbelt
Epilogue: The View from Mount San Jacinto

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