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A People's Guide to Los Angeles
Santa Monica's formerly segregated beach at Pico Blvd.

We’ve found a great summer read that’s giving us a new perspective on the city we love. It’s got intrigue, action--and enough shocking stories for a miniseries. Plus, it’s all true.

Published by the University of California Press this past spring, A People’s Guide to Los Angeles is a tour through 115 citywide sites (none of which you’d find on a map to stars’ homes). Instead, it focuses on locations of political unrest, social injustice and forgotten immigrant struggles. 

Among places chronicled are the residences of the anarchists behind a 1910 Mexican overthrow, the Black Panther headquarters where a police SWAT team opened fire in 1969 and the Silverlake site where a police raid led to L.A.’s first known public protest for LGBT rights--two years before the Stonewall riots.

The paperback has three professor authors--Laura Pulido, Laura Barraclough and Wendy Cheng--and is unabashedly political. But its thoroughly researched, intelligent text is edifying no matter where you stand. And like any good guidebook, there are dining recommendations along the way.

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