Blue Sky Metropolis/Westwick

Blue Sky Metropolis: The Aerospace Century in Southern California

Edited by:Peter J. Westwick, with a foreword by William Deverell
Category:Western History
Release Date:2012-06-01

Price: $45

About this Book

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Why did Southern California become the aerospace capital of the world? What were the consequences of this development for the region, for the nation, and for aerospace itself? Featuring essays by a multidisciplinary group of leading scholars and writers, this volume investigates the intersection of aerospace and Southern California through the lenses of anthropology, history of science and technology, labor, business, ethnicity and gender, architecture, and the environment.

Contributors: Glenn E. Bugos, Dwayne A. Day, Wade Graham, Stuart W. Leslie, M. G. Lord, W. Patrick McCray, Sherman N. Mullin, Mihir Pandya, Philip Scranton, Anita Seth, D. J. Waldie, Zuoyue Wang, Peter J. Westwick


About the Author
Peter J. Westwick is an assistant professor of history at the University of Southern California and director of the Aerospace History Project, an initiative of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.


Praise for Blue Sky Metropolis:

"In this collection of essays assembled by editor Westwick, various historians, social scientists, and practicing engineers and designers reflect on how the peculiar circumstances of California—its economy, spectacular weather, and supportive labor environment—made it ideally suited to shape and underpin aviation, though the focus of the work is primarily the post-WW II era. The essays range from social criticism to studies of particular communities of workers; the most interesting, to this reviewer, was Sherman Mullin's study of Lockheed founder Robert Gross. Westwick and the Huntington Library are to be congratulated for undertaking this work, which whets the appetite for a full-length history of aerospace in California to update William Schoenberger's California Wings (1984). For anyone working in the fields of history of technology, science and technology policy, and industrial organization and management. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."—CHOICE


"The aerospace industry, more than the entertainment industry, created a monumental population growth within a short period of time and changed the Southern California region in unimagined and unthought of ways which still have repercussions today. This unique collection of essays examines various aspects of the growth of that industry and brings attention to another major aspect of the history of Los Angeles."
—Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library


"Like citrus, oil, movies, radio, and television, aerospace helped create Southern California and embody its values. Blue Sky Metropolis launches an entirely fresh consideration of an iconic industry that answered the immemorial hunger of the human race for flight and the future."
—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

"Blue Sky Metropolis presents an intriguing survey of a unique time in Southern California history, when cheap land and benign weather lured massive aerospace enterprises to the region—eventually serving as home to nearly half of the nation’s defense and space fabricators. Before there was a Silicon Valley, high-tech dreamers were on the loose in the Southland, creating inventions as diverse as the Voyager planetary spacecraft and the Stealth bomber.  These highly readable essays help us understand how it happened—how Southern California shaped aerospace, and vice versa."—Charles Elachi, Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

"Peter Westwick has assembled a rich collection of essays that tell a wonderful story about the importance of the aerospace industry to Southern California and the importance of Southern California to the aerospace industry. There's technology, sociology, economics, geography, anthropology, and much more woven through the chapters. It's an ambitious project, but it succeeds in being interesting, informative, and entertaining."
—Michael Rich, President and CEO, The RAND Corporation

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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