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The 70 maps include in this book document the cultural, social, and geographic history of this major American city. Subjects touched on include: the discovery of California, the establishment of the missions, the eventual discovery of the site of Los Angeles, the establishment of the rancho system in Southern California, early Indian villages, early survey maps determining boundaries and land grants, early sewer and water maps determining the avenues of the city's very lifeblood, infrastructure, the rise of the movie industry, the streetcar system, earthquakes, Hollywood, emergence of the maps of the stars' homes, etc. Chronological in format, the book provides an encapsulated visual and verbal history of the city.
Glen Creason is map librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library and co-curator of the landmark exhibition L.A. Unfolded: Maps from the Los Angeles Public Library. D. J. Waldie is the author of the California Book Award–winner Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir. Joe Linton is an artist, writer, and activist living in Los Angeles. Morgan Yates is corporate archivist at the Auto Club of Southern California and works in Los Angeles.