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Pages of History -- 'The Truth About Los Angeles'

March 17, 2011 |  2:56 am

  Louis Adamic The Truth About Los Angeles  

Thanks to the Huntington Library, I was able to obtain a photocopy of Louis Adamic’s “The Truth About Los Angeles,” one of hundreds of little pamphlets published by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. I was vaguely aware of these pamphlets but it wasn’t until Christopher Hawthorne began his “Reading L.A.” series that I learned Adamic had been a contributor.

There is (of course) a website devoted to Haldeman-Julius’ publications with a searchable database of  nearly 2,000 items.

According to the database, Adamic wrote:

Yugoslav Proverbs (380)

The Truth About Los Angeles (647)

Facts You Should Know About California (752)

The Word of Satan in the Bible (1307)

Hollywood From the Inside (1401)

One of the more tantalizing items is the pamphlet “The Personal Element in Business” (1296) with essays by three major writers on Los Angeles: Adamic, who wrote “Dynamite”; Morrow Mayo, the author of “Los Angeles”:  and Carey McWilliams, author of “Southern California: An Island on the Land.”  Why they were writing about “The Personal Element in Business” is truly a mystery.

Mayo also contributed an essay to “The Bigotry Trust in the U.S.A.” (1314)


Other Haldeman-Julius titles with a Los Angeles or California connection are:

"Anti-Evolution Strikes California" in "Is Death Inevitable?" by Maynard Shipley (271)

"Address at the Grave of Luther Burbank" (724)

Edgcumb Pinchon's "Life Among Hollywood's 'Extra' Girls" (755)

"How 'Wicked' Is Hollywood?" (1591);  which includes "How 'Wicked' is Hollywood?" by H. A. Woodmansee; "Los Angeles -- The Heaven of Bunk-Shooters" by Farnsworth Crowder; "How Aimee Semple McPherson Gets the Kale" by Eric Wolfe; and "Pasadena -- A Charming City, But" by A. C. Senske.

A bit of online research shows that the Oviatt Library Special Collections at Cal State Northridge has a nearly complete collection of the Haldeman-Julius publications, although it is apparently missing “The Truth About Los Angeles.”