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The Frontier of Leisure
SAH/SCC Lecture and Book Signing
Sunday, April 22, 2012

Southern California has long been promoted as the playground of the world-the home of resort-style living, backyard swimming pools, and year-round suntans. Tracing the history of Southern California from the late 19th through the late 20th centuries, the author of The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America (Oxford University Press, 2010) reveals how this region did much more than just create lavish resort towns, such as Santa Catalina Island and Palm Springs-it literally remade American attitudes toward leisure.

Join SAH/SCC on Sunday, April 22nd, at 2PM, as author Lawrence Culver looks at this fascinating topic. Culver received his Ph. D. at UCLA, and is a professor of History at Utah State University, Logan, UT. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held at Santa Monica Public Library (Moore Ruble Yudell, 2006).

In his dynamic presentation, Culver will show how the "culture of leisure" gradually took hold with an increasingly broad group of Americans, and ultimately manifested itself in suburban developments throughout the Sunbelt and across the United States. Architecture was central to the rise of Southern California's leisure culture and its extensive influence. From bungalows to Spanish Revival, from Modernist masterpieces to ubiquitous California ranch houses, the appeal of a life of fun in the sun shaped the design of houses, resorts, and neighborhoods that ultimately appeared far beyond Southern California itself. Impressively researched, a fascinating and lively read, The Frontier of Leisure connects Southern Californian recreation and leisure to larger historical themes, including regional development, urban planning, race relations, politics, suburbanization, and changing perceptions of nature.

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