Other cities have histories. Los Angeles has legends.
If that opening line doesn’t make you rush out and buy John Buntin’s LA Noir, your literary taste must differ from mine. Even then, the thought of Billy Graham making the coming-to-the-altar of a Jewish hoodlum from Los Angeles the centerpiece of his first New York crusade ought to draw you in.
The book is a joint biography of Chief William Parker of the Los Angeles Police Department and LA mob boss Mickey Cohen, and of the transformation of Los Angeles from the city of the Raymond Chandler novels to the city that produced the first great riot of the 1960s.
John* gave a reading at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica this evening, and it was a gripping performance: not a characterization I would apply to most history lectures. I think we may have a classic on our hands.
* Full disclosure: he’s a good friend