Thirty Explosive Years

Thirty Explosive Years in Los Angeles County

Written by:John Anson Ford
Category:Western History
Format:260 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 15 b/w illustrations, paperback
Release Date:2010-06-02

Price: $20

About this Book

As a young, liberal, progressive politician squaring off against an entrenched conservative establishment, Los Angeles County Supervisor John Anson Ford transformed midcentury Los Angeles politics. The region was in the midst of rapid economic growth, but could, he firmly believed, meet the expanding needs of its diverse population. In his memoir, Ford reveals the struggles of a democratic government facing unprecedented, unforeseen change, including the challenges of such issues as air pollution, flood control, water conservation, racial discrimination, crime, and juvenile delinquency. As Adamson notes in his introduction, Ford’s accounts of efficient and pragmatic government in action are timely reminders that well-run government has the capacity to anchor public well-being and underwrite economic development. In this way, Ford’s memoir vividly captures the meanings of liberalism and progressivism at the dawn of the 1960s.


About the Author

John Anson Ford (1883-1983) served as a Los Angeles County Supervisor from 1934 to 1958.


Introduction by Michael Adamson, plus a checklist of John Anson Ford papers at the Huntington Library.


"A fascinating history of Los Angeles in one of its transitional periods."

—David Kipen, KPCC


Thirty Explosive Years in Los Angeles County chronicles regional governance and politics in the tumultuous era from the Great Depression through the early years of the Cold War. A passionate political reformer who served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Ford sought to modernize an archaic form of local government and to make it responsive to the outside forces that both drove and constrained its work. He was frequently the lone advocate for the less affluent, and his story speaks to the challenges that continue to roil American politics.”
—Tom Sitton, author of Grand Ventures: The Banning Family and the Shaping of Southern California

“Our faith in mankind rises as we read this book.”
—from the original foreword by Will Durant, author of The Story of Civilization

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About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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