City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

Winner, 2018 Society for American Baseball Research Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal for best book on the history of baseball

Finalist, 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

On the sixtieth anniversary of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles, the full story of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium and how it helped transform the city.

When Walter O'Malley moved his Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957 with plans to construct a new ballpark next to downtown, he ignited a bitter argument over the future of a rapidly changing city. For the first time, City of Dreams tells the full story of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium--and how it helped create modern Los Angeles by transforming its downtown into a vibrant cultural and entertainment center.

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"[An] excellent new book."--Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek

"Like the city fathers stealing water from the Owens Valley in Chinatown, the Dodgers' move west has become American lore. . . . As with most based-on-true-events stories coming out of Los Angeles, this one bears little resemblance to historical fact, and Jerald Podair sets the record straight here. Podair is a historian at Lawrence University, uninterested in polemics or dramatics; his eye is on bigger things. With exhaustive documentation he takes us through every step of the Dodgers' move west. . . . If one wanted only to learn the real story of the Dodgers' move west, City of Dreams would be well worth reading. But the battle over Dodger Stadium also has lessons as a microcosm of American politics. . . . [It] was a battle for the soul of Los Angeles, and Podair shows how this conflict goes all the way back to Hamilton and Jefferson, and is part of the American DNA."--Marshall Goldberg, Weekly Standard

"Careful research and straightforward prose make this an excellent introduction [to the history of Dodger Stadium]."--Publishers Weekly

"A thoughtful new book."--Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times

"City of Dreams . . . has a number of strengths. . . . [T]he research is deep [and] Podair . . . avoids taking sides."--Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, Real Clear Books

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About Jerald Podair


Jerald Podair is a professor of history and the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is the author of The Strike That Changed New York and Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer. He is a recipient of the Allan Nevins Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians for "literary distinction in the writing of history." Read more...