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Los Angeles Explained; The New York Times on Zev Yaroslavsky’s Memoir

Zev Yaroslavsky at Chevalier’s Books last month. He read from his new book and took questions from the audience, which filled the bookstore.

If you want to understand Los Angeles, you need to read Zev Yaroslavsky’s memoir – at least that’s the general consensus from critics.

“The book, “Zev’s Los Angeles: From Boyle Heights to the Halls of Power,” is billed as a political memoir, but it is also a history of the people and policies that have shaped the city: the fight for social justice in the 1960s that set the stage for Los Angeles’s modern turn leftward; the tax revolt in the 1970s that foreshadowed the crisis in affordable housing; the immigration that transformed the city in the 1980s — and went on to, among other things, drive the creation of one of the nation’s largest public transit systems,” wrote Shawn Hubler, California Correspondent for the New York Times.

“”Zev’s Los Angeles: From Boyle Heights to the Halls of Power,” the autobiography of, well, Zev, revisits the period in which Los Angeles became what we know today: big and complex, multiracial, exciting, divided and far deeper than what meets the eye. Zev Yaroslavsky left a lasting mark on L.A. over decades on the City Council and the Board of Supervisors, and his thoughtful reflections earn his memoir an honored place in the history he helped make and now helps to understand,” wrote Jim Newton in his review of the book for the Los Angeles Times.

Last month, Yaroslavsky spoke to a packed bookstore, reading from the book and taking questions from the audience, filled with friends, family, former staff and civic leaders.  If you missed the book signing, you might enjoy the interview posted by Hubler, who covered Los Angeles and got to know Yaroslavsky over the years.

Books were in short supply at the book signing, but Chevalier’s is now fully stocked with autographed copies.

Zev Yaroslavsky with Chevalier’s Books owner Bert Deixler last month before the book signing.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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