Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SMOGTOWN, A Cautionary Tale of Environmental Crisis, Reviewed in Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly takes a look at Smogtown: The Lung Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly: "Encapsulating deftly the worldview, historical context, and public psychology of Southern Californians over a number of decades, Los Angeles journalists Jacobs and Kelly examine the approaches they've made to the region's chronic pollution issues, many of which presage current, nation-wide trends in both pollution and its “Greening.” With casual language and a cinematic sense of the dramatic, Jacobs and Kelly detail the buildup to the famous orange-brown L.A. smog of the 1950s and '60s: “Just at that moment, the beast started to evolve... Sometime in the late 1950s, legend had it that a hen laid an egg that L.A. pollution unaccountably turned green.” Highlighting the pioneering people and groups that blazed the trail for the environmental movement, Jacobs and Kelly also explore the progress and setbacks established by policymakers, including a famously conflicted Ronald Reagan. Finished with a particularly powerful, forward-looking epilogue, this friendly, accessible history should appeal to any American environmentalist."

And check out Chip and Bill's great smog blog, Smogtown: Breathe If You Dare!

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