Using the texts of Carey McWilliams’ Southern California Country, Robert Fogelson’s The Fragmented Metropolis, and Mike Davis’ City of Quartz offer often significantly different (and frequently similar) versions of the history of Los Angeles. These studies are, in a sense, in a conversation with one another. It is a conversation that both reflects the ideological and theoretical sensibilities of these three historians, as well as the larger temporal contexts within which these studies were produced. From your perspective, from your own sensibilities and context, how might you enter into this conversation? A warning: this is not an invitation to offer a simple opinion, but to consider the historical moment you occupy and how you understand the work of these three historians from your perspective. It is an invitation to offer a critical analysis. The paper should be thesis-driven and critical. The successful paper will specifically draw on, and cite, the three readings mentioned above, but should reflect your voice, your critical insights.
Prompt: Race has been at the center of development in Los Angeles for over two centuries. How might you trace this development? What elements of development in the city do you find particularly important?