The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Making of Los Angeles

Margaret Leslie Davis, Author . Univ. of California $34.95 (490p) ISBN 978-0-520-22495-7

F ranklin D. Murphy (1916–1994) may not be a household name, but, as Davis (Dark Side of Fortune: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles ) shows in this informative biography, he was singularly influential in the academic, journalistic and artistic development of Los Angeles. Once dubbed the “doge” of that city, he left an indelible imprint on UCLA, of which he was chancellor during the '60s and expanded its academic programs to make it a world-class university (he resigned in 1968, beleaguered to the point of depression by student protesters on one hand and conservative alumni and politicians on the other); on the media, as CEO of Times Mirror, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times ; on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as a philanthropist and trustee. Because Davis tells not just Murphy's story but the story of Los Angeles coming into its own, many important Californians—Ronald Reagan, fund-raiser Dorothy Chandler, Eldridge Cleaver—make cameo appearances. Although Davis occasionally gets bogged down in the minutiae of institutional history, this is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the history of California or of American higher education. 33 b&w photos. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Open Ebook - 495 pages - 978-0-520-92555-7
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