Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pg. 99: Lawrence Culver's "The Frontier of Leisure"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America by Lawrence Culver.

About the book, from the publisher:
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.
Learn more about The Frontier of Leisure at the Oxford University Press website.

Lawrence Culver teaches in the History Department at Utah State University. He is currently a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center at Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich, Germany.

The Page 99 Test: The Frontier of Leisure.

--Marshal Zeringue