Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Spring 2006


Eric Avila's ambitious and engaging Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight argues that a "new 'new mass culture'" emerged in the United States in the years following the Second World War. The "new mass culture" of the nineteenth century reflected the development of modern, industrial cities; this "new 'new mass culture"' mirrored the development of a new, post-industrial, subur­ban society. In this new culture, cities represented sites of decay and danger occupied by dark-skinned criminals. Suburbs, on the other hand, represented sites of order and safety inhabited by homogeneous groups of "white" people. As this new culture replaced an older culture, new theme parks such as Disneyland replaced old amusement parks such as those at Coney Island, new baseball parks such as Los Angeles's Dodger Stadium replaced old parks such as Brooklyn's Ebbets Field, and freeways replaced streetcars. The dramatic suburban­ization of the Los Angeles region after World War II makes it the ideal venue in which to explore the contours of this new culture. Avila analyzes a number of Hollywood films, Disneyland, Dodger Stadium, and Southern California's freeways to reveal how a suburban white identity formed in the region.

Publication Title

Western Historical Quarterly





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Required Publisher's Statement

Published by: Western Historical Quarterly, Utah State University on behalf of The Western History Association

Article DOI: 10.2307/25443301

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