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Rupert Murdoch

How L.A. became itself: Jean Stein's new oral history 'West of Eden'

How L.A. became itself: Jean Stein's new oral history 'West of Eden'

When Raymond Chandler left Los Angeles in 1946, decamping with his elderly wife for the calmer environs of La Jolla, he did so because he had become fed up with the city. Once a place that that had captivated his imagination and made him the writer that he was, he said Los Angeles had finally become nothing but "a tired old whore." He'd always had a love-hate relationship with L.A., but after a few years in the movie business Hollywood did him in, and he fled the city like a cat on fire.

Chandler's ghost haunts Jean Stein's "West of Eden: An American Place." It tells the stories of five families or individuals, all extremely rich and most very famous, who pursued...

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