The Mirage Factory

The Mirage Factory

Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles

Book - 2018
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"The story of the metropolis that never should have been and the visionaries who dreamed it into reality. Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California--bone-dry, harborless, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges--seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world's iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles's meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, an immigrant ditchdigger turned self-taught engineer, who designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life there possible; D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture and gave L.A. its signature industry; and Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion and cemented the city's identity as a center for spiritual exploration. All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists of a kind. The images they conjured up--of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dream-works, of a community of seekers attaining personal salvation under the California sun--were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. To realize these dreams, all three would have to pay a steep price in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained. Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Crown, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780451496386
Call Number: 979.494 KRIST
Characteristics: 402 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Subjects: Mulholland, William, 1855-1935.
Griffith, D. W. 1875-1948.
McPherson, Aimee Semple, 1890-1944.
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century.
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Economic conditions -- 20th century.


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