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In Print

A City of Contrasts

Rethinking Los Angeles
Edited by Michael J. Dear,
H. Eric Shockman and Greg Hise

Sage Publications,1996

"IN POPULATION, LOS ANGELES is now the second largest metropolitan region in the United States and 11th largest in the world. Forecasters expect it will have more than 20 million people by the year 2000.
“The five-county region, encompassing approximately a 60-mile circle centered on downtown Los Angeles, contains only 5 percent of California’s total land area. Yet within this circle resides more than half the state’s population and personal in-come. Fifty-six percent of the state’s international trade and the headquarters for 58 of the 100 largest companies are located here. The gross product per person in the 60-mile circle ranks fourth in the world.
“The region is also known for its extraordinary consumption patterns. In Los Angeles alone, more than 2,000 cars are sold daily, including 20 percent of all U.S. Rolls Royce registrations and 70 percent of all California registrations. At the same time, however, Los Angeles is known as the ‘homelessness capital’ of the United States, and one in seven of the county’s residents relies on some form of public assistance.”
– From Rethinking Los Angeles

PUBLISHED LAST FALL through USC’s Southern California Studies Center, Rethinking Los Angeles is a collection of essays and artworks on the city of Los Angeles, its past and its future. Its editors, all USC faculty members, have assembled detailed examinations of the region’s health care, education, environment, system of governance and popular culture.
Rethinking L.A. provides a lot of the context, history and background on the issues [facing Los Angeles today],” says Michael Dear, director of the center,
who edited the book with H. Eric Schockman, director of the Center for Transnational and Multiethnic Studies, and Greg Hise, an assistant professor of urban planning and development.

THE BOOK WAS INSPIRED by a series of dialogues on campus after civil unrest hit Los Angeles in 1992. Also titled “Rethinking L.A.,” these public discussions brought together campus scholars and community representatives to discuss ways of creating a better future for Southern California and its people.
Among the USC con-tributors to the collection of essays are Stuart Gabriel, an associate professor of business and finance; Todd Boyd, an assistant professor of critical studies in the School of Cinema-Television; Harlan Hahn, a professor of political science; Genevieve Giuliano, an associate professor and director of the Lusk Center Research Institute in the School of Urban and Regional Planning; Edward J.W. Park, an assistant professor of sociology; Laura Pulido, an assistant professor of geography; Guilbert Hentschke, dean of the School of Education; and Robert E. Tranquada, the holder of the Norman Topping-National Medical Enterprise Chair in Medicine and Public Policy.
No dry treatise, Rethinking Los Angeles is peppered with bits of poetry and illustrations about the region, including a section on Robbert Flick, a professor in the School of Fine Arts, known for taking an extensive series of photographs of Los Angeles’ boulevards.

-Meg Sullivan

Make Your Subconscious Your Partner in the Writing Process and Double Your Creative Power!
by S.L. Stebel
Allen A. Knoll, Publishers, $20

Here’s everything writers need to know about writing successful fiction. S.L. Stebel – a lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program who has published six novels and written for movies, television and the stage – tells writers how to wake up the muse and offers advice on storytelling techniques, adapting a work for stage or screen, and the marketplace.

Managing People Is Like Herding Cats
by Warren Bennis
Executive Excellence Publishing, $24.95

Warren Bennis, founding chairman of The Leadership Institute in the School of Business Administration, calls this book his last and best word on leadership. “Cats ... won’t allow themselves to be herded,” he writes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be coaxed, persuaded, or gently led – and the same goes for people. If leaders would “stop trying to ‘herd cats’ and start building trust and mutual respect, results would follow.”

Highway of Dreams: A Critical View Along the Information Superhighway
by A. Michael Noll
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, $40

A. Michael Noll, professor of communication in the USC Annenberg School for Communication, felt “compelled to do something” to enlighten people about the history of telecommunication in an effort to dispel “the hype of the superhighway.” He writes about the history, the present and the future of telecommunication, and includes a technology primer to assist the technophobe.


Book photograph by Dan Logan

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