Revolutionary Los AngelesNew book by UCI historians spotlights understudied history of L.A.By Megan ColeIn Hollywood’s account of 1960s Los Angeles, it’s summer all the time: The Beach Boys have just released “Surfin’ USA,” palm trees sway gently in the breeze, and the piers are packed with the young, vibrant and carefree.
These Angelenos were systematically policed, harassed, arrested, segregated, denied economic opportunity — in short, “edited out of utopia,” assert Wiener and Davis.
Unlike some histories of the revolutionary ’60s, Set the Night on Fire focuses comprehensively on the relationships, intersections and shared roots between many of these movements, rather than centering any one in isolation.
Knowing the understudied revolutionary history of L.A. is especially crucial now, Wiener suggests, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Pictured: Jon Wiener and the cover of Set the Night on Fire.