Posts Tagged ‘Library Journal’

In this holiday season, why not put a little smoggy brown story under the tree? We’re just saying …

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Remarkably entertaining and informative … This book is just amazing, a gripping story well told, with the requisite plucky scientists ( … a Dutch biochemist who was “the Elvis of his field”), hapless politicians, and a nebulous biochemical villain who just will not be stopped.”
- Booklist starred review

“historical heft … style delivers substance in true Hollywood fashion, with character-driven plots draped in glamour and sensation … the history of smog has never been so sexy”
Los Angeles Times

a meticulous chronicle of the city’s signature airborne grime and of the civic and social forces that emerged to stop it
- Bookforum

“Finished with a particularly powerful, forward-looking epilogue, this friendly, accessible history should appeal to any American environmentalist”
- Publishers Weekly

a well-documented, highly engaging, and widely relevant account of southern California’s battle with “the beast” … not your typical “green’s” diatribe against big business and weak government. No, Jacobs and Kelly are much smarter–and fairer–than that
- Sustainablog

“In this tale of underhanded deals, gritty politics, community organizing and burgeoning environmentalism, the corruption is plentiful and the subplots replete with intrigue … the authors offer a zany and provocative cultural history”
- Kirkus

“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 … Among the pleasures of this well-researched cultural history is revisiting the past by way of old newspaper articles and archival material, which expose both hapless guesses and dogged persistence on the way to smog literacy.”
- Slate

- “Hip and lively .. an intriguing social history of an environmental problem that won’t go away.” Recommended.
Library Journal

Los Angeles magazine Fall 2008 book pick
amazon.com link

Without further ado, may be introduce, drumroll please … a wild, vapory story 65 years in the making

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

SMOGTOWN: THE LUNG-BURNING HISTORY OF PPOLLUTION IN LOS ANGELES

Publisher: The Overlook Press/Penguin Group USA.
By Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly
Offical release date: Oct. 14, 2008

Publisher’s Website: click here
Amazon.com: click here

Reviews blurbage so far:

“Remember those great 1950s horror movies, when some superpowerful creature menaced a city while the citizens panicked, law enforcement officials bumbled, politicians pontificated, and plucky scientists worked at a fever pitch to find something, anything, to kill the monster? That’s pretty much the feel of this remarkably entertaining and informative chronicle of the birth and—so far—inexorable evolution of smog … This book is just amazing, a gripping story well told, with the requisite plucky scientists (including Arie Haagen-Smit, a Dutch biochemist who was “the Elvis of his field”), hapless politicians, and a nebulous biochemical villain who just will not be stopped.”
BOOKLIST (Starred)
 
“This colorful history of smog in Los Angeles begins in the 1940s and ends with a warning call for action. Self-proclaimed “survivors” of “L.A.’s greatest crisis,” journalist Jacobs (Wheeling the Deal: The Outrageous Legend of Gordon Zahler, Hollywood’s Flashiest Quadriplegic) and California Energy Circuit senior correspondent Kelly  (Home Safe Home: How to Make Your Home Environmentally Safe) … dredge up the story of smog in all its hazy—and sometimes humorous—permutations. … In this tale of underhanded deals, gritty politics, community organizing and burgeoning environmentalism, the corruption is plentiful and the subplots replete with intrigue. Though the timelines are often confusing, the authors offer a zany and provocative cultural history.”
KIRKUS

“Hip and lively,” an intriguing social history of an environmental problem that won’t go away.” Recommended. 
LIBRARY JOURNAL

KIRKUS praises Smogtown as “colorful,” “a zany and provocative cultural history”

Monday, September 8th, 2008

This colorful history of smog in Los Angeles begins in the 1940s and ends with a warning call for action. Self-proclaimed “survivors” of “L.A.’s greatest crisis,” journalist Jacobs (Wheeling the Deal: The Outrageous Legend of Gordon Zahler, Hollywood’s Flashiest Quadriplegic, 2008) and California Energy Circuit senior correspondent Kelly (Home Safe Home: How to Make Your Home Environmentally Safe, 1990) draw on newspaper articles, scientific case studies, policy books and oral-history archives to dredge up the story of smog in all its hazy—and sometimes humorous—permutations. It all began on July 8, 1943, when a blinding, “confounding haze” spread around unsuspecting Angelenos, birthing a decades-long battle against a toxic, shape-shifting monster. The side effects were sinister and wide-reaching: increased car accidents and cancer rates, ruined crops, suicides and even smog-induced mental conditions, like “globus hystericus,” the formation of an imaginary lump that aroused the need to swallow constantly. Most remarkable, note the authors, was the push to develop sprawling, car-dependent communities even while L.A. officials and scientists were trying to combat the deleterious effects of automobile emissions … In this tale of underhanded deals, gritty politics, community organizing and burgeoning environmentalism, the corruption is plentiful and the subplots replete with intrigue. Though the timelines are often confusing, the authors offer a zany and provocative cultural history.”

(Authors note: we drew on many more sources than Kirkus identified — and we promise the timeslines won’t make your head spin. We can’t vouch for the material we present.)

Library Journal gave the book high marks, as well, highlighting its “hip and lively” style and a content that produced an “intriguing social history of an environmental problem that won’t go away.”