The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth by Blake GumprechtThe Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth by Blake Gumprecht

The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth

byBlake Gumprecht

Paperback | March 1, 2001

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Three centuries ago, the Los Angeles River meandered through marshes and forests of willow and sycamore. Trout spawned in its waters and grizzly bears roamed its shores. The bountiful environment the river helped create supported one of the largest concentrations of Indians in North America. Today, the river is made almost entirely of concrete. Chain-link fence and barbed wire line its course. Shopping carts and trash litter its channel. Little water flows in the river most of the year, and nearly all that does is treated sewage and oily street runoff. On much of its course, the river looks more like a deserted freeway than a river.

The river's contemporary image belies its former character and its importance to the development of Southern California. Los Angeles would not exist were it not for the river, and the river was crucial to its growth. Recognizing its past and future potential, a potent movement has developed to revitalize its course. The Los Angeles River offers the first comprehensive account of a river that helped give birth to one of the world's great cities, significantly shaped its history, and promises to play a key role in its future.

Blake Gumprecht is an assistant professor of geography at the University of New Hampshire.
Title:The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible RebirthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.94 inPublished:March 1, 2001Publisher:Johns Hopkins University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801866421

ISBN - 13:9780801866425

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Table of Contents


Preface to the Paperback Edition


Chapter: 1 The River as It Once Was

Chapter: 2 Sustenance for the Young Pueblo

Chapter: 3 Draining the River Dry

Chapter: 4 A Stream That Could Not Be Trusted

Chapter: 5 Fifty-one Miles of Concrete

Chapter: 6 Exhuming the River

Editorial Reviews

The Los Angeles River seems an unlikely subject for a book. The unsightly paved passageway that runs through the modern city resembles little more than a glorified drainage ditch... Yet, the river's concrete facade obscures a fascinating history, one expertly revealed by Blake Gumprecht in this exceptional book... Not the least of the virtues of The Los Angeles River is its graceful writing. From the opening paragraphs, the reader experiences the joys of a journey conducted by an entertaining and reliable guide. Gumprecht, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, is equipped with a vivid sense of language and strong narrative skills, allowing him to navigate a complex and often confusing tale and to make it readily accessible to the reader. Excellent maps and photos enhance the voyage.