232 pages, 6 x 9
31 halftones, 3 maps
Release Date:22 Oct 2015

Shameful Victory

The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Scare, and the Hidden History of Chavez Ravine

The University of Arizona Press
On May 8, 1959, the evening news shocked Los Angeles residents, who saw LA County sheriffs carrying a Mexican American woman from her home in Chavez Ravine not far from downtown. Immediately afterward, the house was bulldozed to the ground. This violent act was the last step in the forced eviction of 3,500 families from the unique hilltop barrio that in 1962 became the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

John H. M. Laslett offers a new interpretation of the Chavez Ravine tragedy, paying special attention to the early history of the barrio, the reform of Los Angeles's destructive urban renewal policies, and the influence of the evictions on the collective memory of the Mexican American community.

In addition to examining the political decisions made by power brokers at city hall, Shameful Victory argues that the tragedy exerted a much greater influence on the history of the Los Angeles civil rights movement than has hitherto been appreciated. The author also sheds fresh light on how the community grew, on the experience of individual home owners who were evicted from the barrio, and on the influence that the event had on the development of recent Chicano/a popular music, drama, and literature.
Laslett shows in great detail—perhaps more than in any other account of the Chavez Ravine—how the dislodging of Mexican Americans from the large barrio occurred within a progressive occurrence involving various players that were not ideologically or economically attached to each other.”—F. Arturo Rosales, author of Chicano!: The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

“Chavez Ravine is a Goliath versus David story with many unresolved questions. With the aid of first-rate scholarship, Professor John Laslett provides better answers than anyone.”—Juan Gomez-Quinones, co-author of Making Aztlán: Ideology and Culture of the Chicana and Chicano Movement, 19661977
John H. M. Laslett is a research professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of many books, including most recently Sunshine Was Never Enough, 1880-2010, which won the Gold Shield prize for the best book on California history in 2012 from the Commonwealth Club of Francisco. Laslett’s research focuses on U.S. history, American labor and social movements, minority immigration, and Euro-American history.
List of Illustrations

Part I. Building a Unique Barrio
1. Mexicans on the Hilltop: Gaining a Foothold, 1830–1929
2. Prelude to a Crisis: Race, Patriotism, and Public Housing in Depression and War, 1929–1949
Part II. Public Housing, Evictions, and the Impact of the Red Scare
3. “Struggling to Keep Our Homes”: The Evictions Crisis, 1950–1952
4. Political Consequences: The Defeat of Public Housing and the Triumph of Corporate Modernism, 1950–1953
Part III. Building Dodger Stadium
5. L.A. Pursues the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1957–1959
6. Dodger Success and the History of Minority Displacement in Los Angeles, 1870–1970
Part IV. Chavez Ravine in the Light of Subsequent History
7. Have L.A.’s Urban Renewal Policies Been Successfully Reformed?
8. Chavez Ravine’s Cultural Legacy

Further Reading
Find what you’re looking for...
Free Shipping   Blue
Desk and Exam Copy Requests Click Here
Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters
Current Catalogue
Fall 2019 Canadian Cover
Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.