Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu's transformation from an untamed ranch in the middle of nowhere to a paradise seeded with movie stars, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism. He was a Harvard-trained confidant of presidents; she was a poor Midwestern farmer's daughter raised to be suspicious of the seasons.Read more...
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Publisher: HighBridge Audio$34.99The King and Queen of Malibu (Paperback)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company$15.95
Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu's transformation from an untamed ranch in the middle of nowhere to a paradise seeded with movie stars, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism. He was a Harvard-trained confidant of presidents; she was a poor Midwestern farmer's daughter raised to be suspicious of the seasons. Yet the bond between them would shape history.
The newly married couple reached Los Angeles in 1887 when it was still a frontier, and within a few years Frederick, the only heir to an immense Boston fortune, became one of the wealthiest men in the state. After his sudden death in 1905, May spent the next thirty years fighting off some of the most powerful men in the country--as well as fissures within her own family--to preserve Malibu as her private kingdom. Her struggle, one of the longest over land in California history, would culminate in a landmark Supreme Court decision and lead to the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway.
The King and Queen of Malibu traces the path of one family as the country around them swept off the last vestiges of the Civil War and moved into what we would recognize as the modern age. The story of Malibu ranges from the halls of Harvard to the Old West in New Mexico to the beginnings of San Francisco's counter culture amid the Gilded Age, and culminates in the glamour of early Hollywood--all during the brief sliver of history in which the advent of railroads and the automobile traversed a beckoning American frontier and anything seemed possible.
- ISBN-13: 9780393240993
- ISBN-10: 0393240991
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: March 2016
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-01-18
- Reviewer: Staff
In this fascinating work, Randall (Dreamland), a senior reporter at Reuters, chronicles the rise and fall of the Rindge family as well as their fight to keep their Malibu, Calif., paradise private. Early in the 20th century, Malibu was an awe-inspiring coastal locale made nearly uninhabitable thanks to the Rindges. The family’s story begins with Frederick Rindge, a wealthy east coaster with chronic health problems and an adventurous spirit. When he and his wife, May, moved west to Los Angeles, he was struck by the beauty of Malibu. They bought a large ranch alongside the beach, but soon found themselves battling with the settlers living in the nearby hills over access to the beach and with tourists’ looking for beautiful hikes and scenic drives. When Frederick died, May grew obsessed with preserving her private lands and the beauty of Malibu. The building anger of Malibu homesteaders and other locals led to suspected arson, a ruined reputation, and the loss of May’s fortune and the majority of her lands. Well written and thoroughly researched, Randall’s exploration of land ownership in America and the American dream addresses issues of sexism, classism, love, and the preservation of natural beauty. Photos. (Mar.)