The New Suburbia:
How Diversity Remade Suburban Life in Los Angeles after 1945

Tue, Feb 20, 2024
Oxford University Press, 2024
Oxford University Press, 2024

The conventional story of suburbs as bastions of white, middle-class homeowners no longer describes the suburbs of America's cities. Today they house a more typical cross-section of the nation – rich, poor, Black American, Latino, Asian, immigrant, the unhoused, the lavishly housed, and everyone in between. Nowhere, writes historian Becky Nicolaides, are these changes more vivid than in Los Angeles, where stories of everyday suburban life have taken on new inflections.

Join us for a webinar on February 20 at 6pm ET as Nicolaides discusses her new book, The New Suburbia: How Diversity Remade Suburban Life in Los Angeles after 1945. Based on a half-century of quantitative data and unpublished oral histories and interviews, The New Suburbia explores this vital transformation. Praising her study as a " field-defining book," Thomas Sugrue, professor of history at NYU, writes, "Through rigorous, on the ground research, Nicolaides shows how newcomers remade formerly white-majority suburbs and how suburban governments have struggled to adapt. The New Suburbia is an essential starting point for understanding the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly diverse America."

Becky M. Nicolaides, Ph.D.

Becky M. Nicolaides is a research affiliate at the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. She is the author of My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 and the co-editor of The Suburb Reader. She has served on the LA Mayor's Office Civic Memory Working Group and is a lifelong Angeleno.


The video begins with a welcome by Museum Director Carol Willis, then an introduction of Becky Nicolaides and her work by Owen Gutfreund, an urban and suburban historian who is a professor at Hunter College and Director of the Urban Studies Program. After the author's presentation, there is a conversation between Nicolaides and Gutfreund.