The frontier of leisure : Southern California and the shaping of modern America / Lawrence Culver.

Culver, Lawrence.
Other Title:
Southern California and the shaping of modern America
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2010.
x, 317 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
California, Southern -- History.
Leisure -- California, Southern -- History.
Recreation -- California, Southern -- History.
California, Southern -- Social life and customs.
Leisure -- Southwest, New -- History.
Recreation -- Southwest, New -- History.
Southwest, New -- Social life and customs.
"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"--Provided by publisher.
"Combining environmental, urban, and cultural history, The Frontier of Leisure examines the history of leisure in Southern California, and how the tourist resorts, residential recreation, and leisure culture of Southern California transformed the region and influenced the nation as a whole. Beginning in the 1870s and continuing across the twentieth century, it examines the promotion of leisure and outdoor recreation in Southern California and the Southwest, and the problematic place of public recreation in the region's largest city, Los Angeles. It then explores private tourist leisure at two key Southern California resorts, Santa Catalina Island and Palm Springs. It concludes with an examination of the spread of Southern California's culture of leisure across the Sunbelt Southwest. By examining leisure in these interconnected places, The Frontier of Leisure documents how Southern California and the Southwest remade American attitudes about leisure, altered the national course of urban growth and architecture, and helped formulate the environmental attitudes of modern America. The histories of tourism, recreation, and urbanism in Southern California demonstrate how Americans interacted with nature in their everyday lives - how they experienced it on vacation, how they remade houses and yards to utilize nature as living and leisure space, and how a new suburban landscape, intended to offer the combined virtues of rural and urban life, took shape in Southern California, with profound consequences for the future of national urban and suburban development. Yet perceiving nature through leisure led to conflict with people who knew nature through labor or subsistence, as well as all those excluded from this new formulation of nature, leisure, and urban life"--Provided by publisher.
Machine generated contents note:
Prologue: The View from Fantasyland to Main Street, U.S.A.
Ch 1: Inventing the Frontier of Leisure: Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Creation of the "Great Southwest"
Ch 2: The City of Leisure: The Contested History of Public Recreation in Los Angeles
Ch 3: The Island of Leisure: Tourism and the Transformation of Santa Catalina Island, 1887-1919
Ch 4: Westward the Course of Leisure Takes Its Way: Santa Catalina in the Wrigley Era
Ch 5: The Oasis of Leisure: Palm Springs before 1941
Ch 6: Making the Desert Modern: Palm Springs after World War II
Ch 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
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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