New from The Atlantic: Because place matters.

Los Angeles: The Anti-City

The Editors

In 2005, The Atlantic sent French writer Bernard-Henri Levi out across America to retrace the steps of Alexis de Tocqueville. In Levi's estimation, Los Angeles was "the prototype of a city with a poorly developed language, the prototype of unintelligible, illegible discourse." He argued that Southern California's sprawling metropolis lacked a center, a recognizable border, a vantage point where it could be "embraced in a single glance," and a heart, or historic neighborhood "whose historicity continues to shape, engender, inspire, the rest of the urban space." He closed by predicting "with some certainty" that L.A. was going to die.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus
The Florida Report - An 8-part video series with Richard Florida The Burden of Home Ownership

The Burden of Home Ownership

Part 8: Richard Florida argues that Americans need to get over their obsession with real estate More in the series »

The Path to Recovery

The Path to Recovery

The rise of megaregions, the decline of home ownership, the shift away from a car culture - these are among the nation's responses to today's economic turmoil. Adapted from Richard Florida's new book, The Great Reset. More »

High Speed Rail All Aboard!

The future of train travel, with The Atlantic's Derek Thompson