Eternity Street

John Mack Faragher, the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies

(W.W. Norton & Company)

In the 1850s, Los Angeles was infamous as one of the most murderous societies in America. Saloons teemed with rowdy crowds of Indians and Californios, Mexicans and Americans. Men walked down streets armed with Colt revolvers and Bowie knives. A closer look reveals characters acting in unexpected ways: a newspaper editor advocating lynch law in the name of racial justice; hundreds of Latinos massing to attack the county jail, determined to hang a hooligan from Texas.

Eternity Street” is the story of the rise of Los Angeles from its origins as a small Mexican pueblo. John Mack Faragher relates a history of conquest and ethnic suppression, of collective disorder and interpersonal conflict. “Eternity Street” recounts the struggle to achieve justice amid the turmoil of a loosely governed frontier, and it delivers a look at the birth of this quintessentially American city.

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