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Mike Davis
Getting a read on the city with Edward W. Soja's 'My Los Angeles'
Getting a read on the city with Edward W. Soja's 'My Los Angeles'

When people say that Los Angeles is hard to read, as they often do, they're usually not talking about books. They're talking about the city itself or rather the megalopolis, made up of dozens of cities. It is this sprawling, tangled, confusing, seemingly homogenous but in fact diverse, mixed-up urban and suburban landscape that people describe as illegible. Edward Soja, a geographer at UCLA, has spent much of his long career trying to read Los Angeles. Along the way, he developed innovative and sometimes controversial theories of urbanization and became a founder of a dynamic "L.A. School" of urban studies — an admittedly loose-knit "school" whose members, like Groucho Marx, have been...

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