There is a book by Daniel Hurewitz called Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics, and Martin Duberman has reviewed it. The review starts like this:
What is the self? Do we all have one? Is it best treated with Botox or with books? Is it grounded in genetic concrete or manufactured by cultural circumstances? How can you tell the ersatz from the genuine article–and who’s the best judge? Is having a self the same as having an identity, or are the two sequential, a successful excavation of one’s “inner essence” leading to association, political and otherwise, with a group of like-minded essences?
Hurewitz’ book studies artists, Communists, and homosexuals coexisting in the subdivision of Edendale (now Echo Park and part of Silverlake) from the 1920s through the 1960s.