The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti

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Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
8.2 X 10.2 X 1.1 inches | 2.9 pounds

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About the Author

Susan A. Phillips is professor of environmental analysis at Pitzer College. She is the author of Wallbangin' Graffiti and Gangs in L.A. (1999) and Operation Fly Trap: Gangs, Drugs, and Law (2012).


"The alternative history of L.A. you didn't know you needed."--PureWow
"An astonishing book and a revelation, from first to last. I learned from every single page and from the sheer exuberance of Phillips's long journey into these places, spaces, histories, and inscriptions."--William Deverell, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
"Susan Phillips insightfully shows how the study of graffiti can provide evidence for the changing nature of the city itself."--Rafael Schacter, author of The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti
"Crack open the canon and make room at the top for The City Beneath. Deeply researched and consistently breathtaking, this book will change the way you see and understand Los Angeles."--Josh Kun, author of The Autograph Book of L.A.
"A fascinating investigation into graffiti as visual history, highlighting the inherent desire we have to leave our mark or message on a place."--Roger Gastman, graffiti historian
"Susan A. Phillips's wonderfully researched book is truly unique in the study of graffiti. Not only has she examined the cultural origins of mark-making, but she also re-defines the geographical narrative, stealing the crown from New York and placing it on the head of the West Coast as the cultural epicenter of the birth of American graffiti."--Aaron Rose, Beautiful Losers