At Skylight: Paul Haddad presents INVENTING PARADISE w/ Josh Stephens

At Skylight: Paul Haddad presents INVENTING PARADISE w/ Josh Stephens

Join us for the improbable rise of Los Angeles through the prism of six visionaries who had outsize influence on the city's growth: Phineas Banning, Harrison Gray Otis, Henry Huntington, Harry Chandler, William Mulholland, and Moses Sherman.

In the late 1870s, Los Angeles was a violent, dusty, 29-square-mile pueblo with a few thousand souls, largely unchanged since its founding in 1781. By 1930, its size had swelled to within 96% of its current 468 square miles, housing a staggering 1.2 million people. In just 50 years, L.A. had joined the ranks of other world-class cities.

In the tradition of Mike Davis's classic work City of Quartz, Paul Haddad (Freewaytopia and 10,000 Steps a Day in L.A.) debunks many myths about the City of Angels with a wildly entertaining narrative that sheds new light on the fascinating birth of modern Los Angeles. Power came from a select few, whose triumphs, scandals, and correspondence are well documented in Inventing Paradise, along with other little-known facts about L.A. history.

Paul Haddad has penned several nonfiction books exploring the contextual roots of his native Los Angeles, including the critically acclaimed Freewaytopia: How Freeways Shaped Los Angeles and 10,000 Steps a Day in L.A.: 57 Walking Adventures, which was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. As a writer and contributor, he has examined Los Angeles for such media as the L.A. Times, the San Francisco ChronicleThe Washington PostThe Times (UK), LAist, NPR, and HuffPo. An MFA graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Haddad has been nominated for multiple Emmys as a documentary producer.

Josh Stephens is a veteran teacher and college counselor based in Los Angeles. As a freelancer Josh has contributes to, among others, Planetizen.com, Common Edge Collaborative, Metropolis, Next City, Sierra, InTransition, and Planning Magazine.  He also writes for Planetizen's blog and contributes to its annual list of the top books in urban planning. He is the author of The Urban Mystique: Notes on California, Los Angeles, and Beyond, published by Solimar Books, and of Planners Across America, published by Planetizen Press. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Inventing Paradise: The Power Brokers Who Created the Dream of Los Angeles By Paul Haddad Cover Image
ISBN: 9781595801272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Santa Monica Press - June 18th, 2024