My Blue Heaven
Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965
As Becky M. Nicolaides shows in My Blue Heaven, this ethic of self-reliance and homeownership formed the core of South Gate's identity. With post-World War II economic prosperity, the community's emphasis shifted from building homes to protecting them as residents tried to maintain their standard of living against outside threats—including the growing civil rights movement—through grassroots conservative politics based on an ideal of white homeowner rights. As the citizens of South Gate struggled to defend their segregated American Dream of suburban community, they fanned the flames of racial inequality that erupted in the 1965 Watts riots.
Pacific Coast Branch of the AHA: AHA-Pacific Coast Branch Book Award
Historical Society of Southern Californi: Donald H. Pflueger Local History Award
List of Tables
Part I. The Quest for Independence, 1920-1940
1. Building Independence in Suburbia
2. Peopling the Suburb
3. The Texture of Everyday Life
4. The Politics of Independence
Part II. Closing Ranks, 1940-1965
5. "A Beautiful Place"
6. The Suburban Good Life Arrives
7. The Racializing of Local Politics
Acronyms for Collections and Archives