The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles
Author: William Fulton Published: August 2001 Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Released in August 2001, the paperback edition of The Reluctant Metropolis contains all the same elements that made the 1997 edition a Los Angeles Times bestseller in addition to a new afterword by the author. Written in the rich narrative style of a novel, William Fulton's The Reluctant Metropolis creates a fascinating portrait of a big city's evolution. A respected journalist and city planner, Fulton has traveled the breadth and width of the sprawling Los Angeles metropolis - an area nearly the size of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined - to uncover "the stories behind the stories" about how the city has grown and changed in the last twenty years. He portrays a region on the brink of disaster, as politicians, developers, and even ordinary citizens shape L.A.'s future through short-sighted political gamesmanship.
The Reluctant Metropolis spins twelve different narrative yarns, covering such topics as L.A.'s "white elephant rail transit system, the battle over the future of South Central after the 1992 riots, and the emergence of Las Vegas as a "new" Los Angeles, spinning out of control with rapid growth. The twelve narrative tales are wrapped inside beginning and ending chapters that describe the region's prevailing "cocoon citizenship," the narrow-minded political mindset of communities and institutions that fail to see how they are woven together to create this reluctant metropolis.
Reviews for the Hardback edition of The Reluctant Metropolis:
The Reluctant Metropolis offers a fresh new perspective on how any major city - not just Los Angeles - can learn from its mistakes and misperceptions to forge a blueprint for a better urban environment. "Accessible and crammed with both juicy tidbits and intriguing insights … a surprisingly lively case study of the battles and alliances of politics, business and people that formed - or deformed - a great American city." -- Publishers Weekly
"The power of this book is the 'up close and personal' portrait it gives of the people and events that shaped the modern era of Los Angeles and the sinking of the illusion of eternal land. ... Written like a compelling detective story, but one for which he does not have an ending, the book is a must for anyone who lives in the region." -- George Rand, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Architecture and Planning, Graduate School of Architecture, UCLA