Angeleños: L.A.'s Golden Age by Ron Schuler

Angeleños: L.A.'s Golden Age by Ron Schuler


A grandson of Mexican immigrants, Ron Schuler draws deeply upon his family background in his first novel to tell a fictionalized tale of two families who arrive in East Los Angeles in 1919: the Martín family, fleeing the Revolution in Zacatecas, Mexico through Arizona copper mines and ranchos southeast of L.A.; and the Baumiller family, after a wildcat strike goes awry in Kansas City, Kansas, starting a new life in the American City of Last Resort. A descendant of both families—half-Mexican, half-Anglo, known by his genealogy website handle “bauwau685”—returns to the West Coast and searches for his roots among the traces of these families and amid the Golden Age of L.A. itself … its old boxing gyms and speakeasies, its after-hours clubs, Bible rallies and quack doctors, California politicians and the fringes of Hollywood, the unraveling of the streetcar system and the sinister launch of the aerospace industry, and against an undercurrent of atmospheric and internalized racism toward Mexican-Americans. In the process, “bauwau685” uncovers tragic secrets that were never meant to be exposed and discovers the extent to which identities can be fabricated and reimagined in a city in which image is everything, and truth is ephemeral.

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