Wooed by the Waves: The Cultural Politics of Southern California Beaches 1890-1970

Alex Jacoby
UC Irvine

Southern California’s littoral landscape played a central role in the state’s politico-economic development and in conceptions of regional identity. Few historians, however, have examined how the real-and-imagined landscape of the beach shaped the development of Los Angeles area. Developers, politicians, and the public hotly disputed visions of land use along the seascape. Understanding the passage of coastal preservation as the triumph of urban, popular beaches complicate existing narratives of environmentalism and confirms the importance Los Angeles’ western edge.