Tuesday, December 23, 2008

SMOGTOWN's L.A. Story Featured on SLATE

Amanda Fortini takes fascinating look at Smogtown, by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly, on Slate: "In Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles, journalists Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly document the rise of this tenacious phenomenon and the various, often-bungled attempts to eradicate it. The narrative that emerges is more than a tale of a region and a populace besieged by smog; it is also a parable for a nation beset by environmental and social problems. Though smog may have been, as the authors write, 'not only a blight on the skyline but on the boom mindset,' it was not, apparently, blight enough to impel the citizens of Los Angeles to make any material or long-term sacrifices. In the end, the smog crisis is a parable with a pessimistic moral: To a large degree, the authors write, people breathed the air they deserved."

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