ePUB Mike Davis Ê Set the Night on Fire LA in the Sixties PDF/EPUB ☆ Ê

A magisterial kaleidoscopic riveting history of Los Angeles in the SixtiesHistories of the US Sixties invariably focus on New York City but Los Angeles was an epicenter of that decade's political and social earthuake LA was a launchpad for Black Power where Malcolm X and Angela Davis first came to prominence and the Watts uprising shook the nation and home to the Chicano walkouts and Moratorium as well as birthplace of Asian America as a political identity base of the antiwar movement and of course center of California countercultureMike Davis and Jon Wiener provide the first comprehensive history of LA in the Sixties drawing on extensive archival research scores of interviews with principal figures of the 1960s movements and personal histories both Davis and Wiener are native Los Angelenos Following on from Davis's award winning LA history City of uartz and picking up where the celebrated California historian Kevin Starr left off his eight volume history of California ends in 1963 Set the Night on Fire is a fascinating historical corrective delivered in scintillating and fiercely elegant prose


10 thoughts on “Set the Night on Fire LA in the Sixties

  1. says:

    Set the Night on Fire is Mike Davis and Jon Wiener's gift to the next generation Davis' credentials as an an American writer political activist urban theorist and historian combine with the journalistic voice of co author Jon Wiener history professor Emeritus at UC Irvine who's been a contributing editor to The Nation since 1984 to write a history of the sixties and Los Angeles that stands up to the hype As acclaimed sociologist Barbara Ehrenreich notes in the cover of Set the Night on Fire this is a history of the sixties written by “two of many peoples’ favorite locals” It's worth noting that both Davis and Wiener are not only historians of the 1960s but were active participants each in their own capacity in many of the social movements discussed in this book including Davis' leadership in the Los Angeles Chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society the anti war movement on university campuses the Southern California branch of the Communist Party and the rank and file Teamsters movement Also a member of SDS though on the East Coast Jon became politicized by the events of Mississippi Birmingham and Selma and became a journalist working on and in the anti war movement before moving to Los Angeles in 1969 where as he says there was no shortage of things to report about including the trial to Free Angela Davis and the repression of the Black Panther Party and Cuban reactionary activityThough nearly 800 page Set the Night on Fire manages to feel at times too brief That isn't only a commentary on the uestions it raises but doesn't answer about political theory or methodology these things are easy enough for an educated reader to infer Written as a series of short vignettes in or less chronological order the authors transport the reader into the 1960s and early 1970s through traditional archives but also their own memory including diary entries of Davis' experience during the days of the Watts Rebellion In Los Angeles the authors argue many social movements were anything but insular where they were separatist in nature this was often a concerted and political decision movements for civil rights housing education desegregation black liberation the establishment of African American and Chicanao Studies anti war and of course rock and roll and counterculture Set the Night on Fire is a reference to a song by The Doors Forget everything you know about the 60s the book seems to say At least that's how I felt even as someone with or less expert knowledge of the origins of Chicano movement I'm a PhD student in the field of Chicanao Studies at UCLA If the political argument structuring the book is that the defeats at the level of reforms in the early part of the decade foreclosed avenues for peaceful change toward the end of the decade then at least one important provocation this book should hold for future generations of lay and academic historians alike is a curiosity about how these untold and buried transmissions of memory can inform future studies and future struggles I see many a future dissertation emerging from the memories in these pages


  2. says:

    fuck the LAPD


  3. says:

    This is a magisterial history of Los Angeles in the 1960s From the Black Panthers and Chicano liberation movement to the gay rights movement and feminism Davis and Weiner provide a tremendous amount of information that takes the reader deep into a world that has passed As the pandemic crisis upends the global economy the relevance for building social movements is salient than ever The book is ultimately a descriptive history closely hewing to the detailed portraits it paints There is relatively little analysis or reflection from the authors on assessing the strategic choices of actors which obviously mostly failed Surprisingly the authors who of course are extremely well read Davis is renowned for his contributions focus overwhelmingly on social movement history This was clearly a deliberate choice and the result is impressive But I found it a bit strange that there is very little attention paid to the left organizations of the time such as the SWP or smaller ones I perhaps dogmatically thought a book about California in the 1960s might mention Hal Draper a legendary Bay Area activist but I do appreciate the commitment to a constricted geographic scope These are uibbles This is a must read book


  4. says:

    Timely? Indeed Mike Davis is an accomplished historian of Los Angeles Davis and co author Jon Weiner have returned to 1960s Los Angeles and its profound problems of racial injustice economic ineuality and other forms of discrimination The subject matter of this book is political activism the reaction to these realities the struggle to overcome them to transform not only individual lives but the city and all of America They refer to it as the movement leftradicalrevolutionary The actors are diverse in terms of race ethnicity and gender What was the legacy of the movement? To what extent were the goals strategies and tactics successful? To what extent were individual lives the city and America transformed? Was Los Angeles a kind of crossroads city? Were seeds planted? I remember Zhou Enlai's response I think in the 1970s or 80s to a uestion about the legacy of the French Revolution in world history He said it was too soon to tell Perhaps The structure of the book is encyclopedic or Wikipedia ish Chapters are relatively short each with a narrative arc There were times when I wanted in the way of analysis evaluation or interpretation For example gender A photograph on the last page of the photo section shows the women on the staff of the Japanese American monthly newspaper Gidra The caption uoting Laura Pulido states that the photo demonstrated 'a higher level of collective feminist consciousness' than existed in either the Chicana movement or the Black Panthers Yes Angela Davis Dorothy Healy and NOW have their chapters but I don't recall discussions about collective feminist consciousness or the lack thereof in the book I guess that's a criticism Overall four stars not five Here are a couple of book recommendations If you want to read about the 1965 Watts Uprising check out Gerald Horne's book Fire This Time On political activism I was very very impressed by Micah White's book The End of Protest A New Playbook for Revolution enlightening and provocative in the best sense of those terms It is very timely too


  5. says:

    Set the Night on Fire is an in depth and complex look at the history that created the sprawling city of LA It starts off by enumerating the factors that contributed to the uprisings that transformed not just life in LA but life in America during the sixties Mike David does an excellent job of laying out the convoluted ties between the different players in the game and shows how each aspect of the cultural anathema evolved throughout the years until hitting a point of firm resolve This book brings to light the dark history and realities of America in the sixties and forces readers to acknowledge the absolutely horrific ordeals that white right leaning Americans forced on minority communities While at times this book was as sprawling and twisted as LA itself is the sprawling nature seemed necessary to encapsulate the complex factors of how LA came to be what it is now It is a well researched and well written book and should be at the top of anyone’s list for a nuanced look and realistic perspective of the social cultural and political landscape of LA in the sixties With new names and characters every few sentences Set the Night on Fire really brings the human aspect of this time period to the forefront and tells and interwoven story by penning the lives of countless players on every side of the game The passion and raw emotion of LA in the sixties plays out in this book and really drove the narrative forward


  6. says:

    A thorough well researched history of Los Angeles Set the Night on Fire LA in the Sixties documents the complex histories of several communities and movements in LA This comprehensive book recounts details omitted from many US history classes and fills those gaps by bringing often ignored groups into the spotlight Though LA is not representative of the nation as a whole this book chronicles many of the movements relationships and events that later gave rise to nationwide changeWhile the book long the engaging writing style holds the attention of the reader throughout and is well organized The reader could comfortably read a chapter or two each night The details presented in each section allow the reader to understand the evolution of the movements and relationships described in the book These details allow the reader to visualize the steps toward change rather than stopping at an indication that change occurred This book is a compelling read even for those without an attachment to the city of Los AngelesContemporary change makers looking for inspiration can use this book to learn about the successful movements of the sixties and their tactics So many of the tactics are worth revisiting today


  7. says:

    This is a fascinating read that lets the reader in on the truth of what LA was really like in the sixties New York gets a lot of credit and focus for the growth that took place at that time but LA was much than just a utopia of Hollywood and movie stars It was fascinating to learn that the first LGBT street protest actually took place in LA and not NYC In addition the usual history of Los Angeles does not show the incredible truth of the power that minorities were able to fight for in LAThis read reveals so much information that everybody should know about the history of Los Angeles and how it effected the growth of America as a whole I highly recommend this read


  8. says:

    Marvelous Well organized and incredibly comprehensive this book is a great account of LA in the sixties told with love by activists The authors' first hand experience with the events and the political landscape gives one the sense of an insider perspective like talking to the locals on the streets instead of just reading the news Loved it


  9. says:

    Really good I learned so much reading this book but it didn’t need to be so long


  10. says:

    Nearly 800 pages of detail about the leftist movements and counterculture that flourished or not in Los Angeles in the 1960s and early 1970s I would have liked depth but the breadth of coverage is amazing I loved the black and white photos and I miss The Free Press