City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

Princeton University Press
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On the sixtieth anniversary of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles, the full story of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium and how it helped transform the city.

When Walter O'Malley moved his Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957 with plans to construct a new ballpark next to downtown, he ignited a bitter argument over the future of a rapidly changing city. For the first time, City of Dreams tells the full story of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium—and how it helped create modern Los Angeles by transforming its downtown into a vibrant cultural and entertainment center.

In a vivid narrative, Jerald Podair tells how Los Angeles was convulsed between 1957 and 1962 over whether, where, and how to build Dodger Stadium. Competing civic visions clashed. Would Los Angeles be a decentralized, low-tax city of neighborhoods, as demanded by middle-class whites on its peripheries? Or would the baseball park be the first contribution to a revitalized downtown that would brand Los Angeles as a national and global city, as advocated by leaders in business, media, and entertainment?

O'Malley's vision triumphed when he opened his privately constructed stadium on April 10, 1962—and over the past half century it has contributed substantially to the city's civic and financial well-being. But in order to build the stadium, O'Malley negotiated with the city to acquire publicly owned land (from which the city had uprooted a Mexican American community), raising sharply contested questions about the relationship between private profit and "public purpose." Indeed, the battle over Dodger Stadium crystallized issues with profound implications for all American cities, and for arguments over the meaning of equality itself.

Filled with colorful stories, City of Dreams will fascinate anyone who is interested in the history of the Dodgers, baseball, Los Angeles, and the modern American city.

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About the author

Jerald Podair is professor of history and the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is the author of The Strike That Changed New York and Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer. He is a recipient of the Allan Nevins Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians for "literary distinction in the writing of history."
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 27, 2017
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781400884704
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
History / General
History / Social History
History / United States / 20th Century
History / United States / State & Local / West (AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY)
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / General
Sports & Recreation / Baseball / History
Sports & Recreation / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Bayard Rustin was a unique twentieth-century American radical voice. A homosexual, World War II draft resister, and ex-communist, he made enormous contributions to the civil rights, socialist, labor, peace, and gay rights movements in the United States, despite being viewed as an "outsider" even by fellow activists. Rustin was a humanist who championed the disadvantaged and oppressed, regardless of identity.

In Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer, Jerald Podair examines the life and career of a man who shaped virtually every aspect of the modern civil rights movement as a theorist, strategist, and spokesman. Podair begins by covering the period from Rustin's 1912 birth in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to his 1946 release from federal prison, where he served over two years for draft evasion. After his release, Rustin threw himself into work on behalf of pacifism and racial integration, two goals that, at this stage of his career, fit together almost seamlessly. Podair goes on to examine Rustin's role as the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, the most important civil rights demonstration in American history. He was a major influence on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy of nonviolent direct action, which led to the strategy that changed the course of American race relations. During the last years of his life, Rustin continued to champion the causes of socialism, coalition politics, and racial integration, as he also sought to aid oppressed people and foster democratic institutions worldwide.

Yet for all this, Rustin was rarely permitted a leading role in the movements he helped to shape. Because of his sexuality and his background as a former communist and draft resister, he was forced to do much of his work on the fringes, offering his organizational, strategic, and rhetorical skills to public leaders who chose to keep him at arm's length. Despite this, as Podair makes clear, Bayard Rustin was one of the most important civil rights leaders—and one of the most important radical leaders—in twentieth-century American history.

Documents in this book include excerpts from Rustin's writings, speeches, and public statements.
The New York Times bestseller about what would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team

It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics. Their story in The Only Rule is it Has to Work is unlike any other baseball tale you've ever read.

We tag along as Lindbergh and Miller apply their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they try: it has to work. We meet colorful figures like general manager Theo Fightmaster and boundary-breakers like the first openly gay player in professional baseball. Even José Canseco makes a cameo appearance.

Will their knowledge of numbers help Lindbergh and Miller bring the Stompers a championship, or will they fall on their faces? Will the team have a competitive advantage or is the sport’s folk wisdom true after all? Will the players attract the attention of big-league scouts, or are they on a fast track to oblivion?

It’s a wild ride, by turns provocative and absurd, as Lindbergh and Miller tell a story that will speak to numbers geeks and traditionalists alike. And they prove that you don’t need a bat or a glove to make a genuine contribution to the game.

Atlanta Braves third baseman and National Hall of Famer Chipper Jones—one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history—shares his remarkable story, while capturing the magic nostalgia that sets baseball apart from every other sport.
 
Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame–worthy statistics during a nineteen-year career with the Atlanta Braves, he was just a country kid from small town Pierson, Florida. A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day he’d be a major league ballplayer.  
 
With his trademark candor and astonishing recall, Chipper Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency. His journey begins with learning the art of switch-hitting and takes off after the Braves make him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft, setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen-straight division-title run.
 
Ballplayer takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last-gasp division win by the 2005 “Baby Braves”; all the while sharing pitch-by-pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all-time great starters, such as Clemens and Johnson, as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon. He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothers—Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, among them—and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds. The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame; his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets; his reflections on baseball in the modern era—outrageous money, steroids, and all—and his special last season in 2012.
 
Ballplayer immerses us in the best of baseball, as if we’re sitting next to Chipper in the dugout on an endless spring day.
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture—on the field and off—was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history—only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now, in Francona: The Red Sox Years, the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight.

As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.

Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today’s game.
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