The Battle for Beverly Hills
If you look at a map of the sprawling city of Los Angeles, you'll notice a distinct hole smack dab in the middle. That is the City of Beverly Hills, and there's a reason why it stands like an island in the sea of L.A. Beverly Hills' independence is a tale inextricably linked with the dawn of cinema, a celebrity couple banking on their influence to get what they wanted politically, and of course, the age old conundrum of California: water.
It's the untold story of how, against all odds, Beverly Hills remained an independent, exclusive, and glamorous enclave through the efforts of Hollywood's film pioneers.
Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks — they were the world’s first film stars. But celebrity wasn’t just their creation and their reward. It was a also tool they used to wrest a new city away from the Chinatown era plutocrats who built Los Angeles. The city they created was Beverly Hills. In Nancie Clare, it has found not just an able historian but an inspired storyteller.
—John Buntin, author of L.A. Noir
How Beverly Hills almost wasn't—Nancie Clare tells the fascinating tale of how the movie folk outsmarted real-estate interests, and Mary Pickford's most enduring leading role.
—Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of You’ll Never Know, Dear
In The Battle for Beverly Hills Nancie Clare brilliantly tells the story of how one of the world's most glamorous cities almost came to an inglorious end—until America’s first celebrity couple stepped in and leveraged their fame. Funny, smart, and wildly prescient, The Battle for Beverly Hills is a 1920s story with massive implications for the present day.
—Annie Jacobsen, bestselling author of Area 51, Operation Paperclip, Phenomenon and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for The Pentagon's Brain
Stories about celebrities in politics seems ripped from today’s headlines, but in The Battle for Beverly Hills, Nancie Clare excavates this riveting tale of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and their famous friends knocking on their neighbors’ doors to keep their Beverly Hills from being absorbed by the city of Los Angeles. Clare brings their campaign – and their community - to life.
—Cari Beauchamp, award winning author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood