Arguably, no city grapples with the burdens and privileges of the 21st Century to the extent that Los Angeles does. That thesis will be the subject of inquiry and will provide a narrative framework for this class. We will test that hypothesis through literature, cultural analysis and some real-world experience. We will look at the myth and the reality of Los Angeles and you will come to your own, well-informed ideas about whether this almost unfathomable city is a proving ground for the better angels of our nature, or the place where the American experiment has finally come to die.