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    Carmen Lodise was an activist in Isla Vista for over 30 years.


    As an elected official he participated in establishing Isla Vista's first parks and was a leader in three campaigns to create a City of Isla Vista.


    He was also the publisher of the town's longest running community newspaper - the Isla Vista Free Press.


    In 2005, Lodise retired to a fishing village in Mexico.


    Isla Vista: A Citizen's History (2nd edition) is available to buy online.





  • About the Book

    Isla Vista: A Citizen's History, 2nd edition

    Isla Vista is a spirited college town of 20,000 people crammed into a half-square mile of the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.


    This book tells the story of how local politicians, greedy developers, and conniving University officials conspired to build a company town that 40 years later remains 96 percent renters and 33 percent paved over. It's the gripping tale of how residents rose in rebellion during the tumultuous year of 1969-70, burning down the local Bank of America and putting Isla Vista on the front pages of newspapers across America.

    Isla Vista: A Citizen's History is also the only account of how a community rose from the ashes of that fire and how its youthful planners created a vision of a self-governing and environmentally sound village that continues to resonate with each new generation of students, but whose implementation has been repeatedly thwarted by the same cabal that created the town.

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    Table of Contents

    Forward by Das Williams
    Dedication & Acknowledgments
    Maps of Isla Vista in Relationship to California, Santa Barbara, and Goleta

    Introduction: The Campus by the Sea
    Chapter 1 From Indian Settlement to Student Ghetto
    Chapter 2 The Civil Disturbances of 1969-70 by Malcolm Gault-Williams

    Chapter 3 The Aftermath:

    • Analysis & Retrospective: An interview with Dick Flacks
    • Five Activists Look Back at the Events of 1970
    • The Causes of Conflict in Isla Vista: UCSB Vice-Chancellor David P. Gardner
    • The Lessons of Isla Vista: the Chairman of the Bank of America
    • The 1970 Trow Report: UCSB's Responsibilities to Isla Vista (abridged)

    Chapter 4 Building a Community (download)
    Chapter 5 The Search for a City

    Chapter 6 The Isla Vista Recreation andPark District
    Chapter 7 Tipi Village
    Chapter 8 The Joint Rolling Contests
    Chapter 9 The People in the Green Arena
    Chapter 10 Isla Vista Gorilla Theater and the Fabulous Strombolis by Jeff Walsh

    Chapter 11 Water Politics & the Third Isla Vista Cityhood Campaign by Carrie Topliffe

    Chapter 12 Intriguing History of the I.V. Clinic Building

    Chapter 13 The St. Athanasius Church vs. Isla Vista
    Chapter 14 Saving Perfect Park

    Chapter 15 Policing Isla Vista:

    • The Man Behind the Badge
    • The I.V. Foot Patrol by Andrew Shulman
    • Halloween in I.V.
    • May 4, 1989 Community Meeting with Police

    Chapter 16 The Legacy of the Student Activists of the 1980s
    Chapter 17 The Isla Vista Food Co-op by Jeff Walsh

    Chapter 18 The Isla Vista Youth Projects by LuAnn Miller

    Chapter 19 Isla Vista: Investor's Paradise by Melinda Burns

    Chapter 20 Some Difficult Times

    Chapter 21 An Isla Vista Community Center - At Last by Frank Thompson and Carmen Lodise

    Chapter 22 Building Our Isla Vista: a Self-Governance Story by Jonathan Abboud

    Chapter 23 The Isla Vista Tree: Gone but Not Forgotten
    Chapter 24 The Isla Vista Adventure

    Afterword "The People, Yes" by Carl Sandburg

    Appendix A: The 1970 Trow Report: UCSB's Responsibilities to Isla Vista
    Appendix B: Bob Potter's speech at the dedication of the Monument in Isla Vista's Perfect Park to the worldwide Peace Movement during the Vietnam War, June 10, 2003

    Appendix C: Primary Sources of Photographs

    About the Principal Author


    Buy the Book

  • The Campus by the Sea
    Where the Bank Burned Down

    A Report on the Disturbances at UCSB and Isla Vista 1968-70
    Submitted to the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest
    at the request of Joseph Rhodes, Jr.

  • Bob Potter's Speech

    At the ceremony dedicating the monument
    to the worldwide peace movement during the Vietnam War era
    In Isla Vista’s Perfect Park, June 10, 2003

  • Reviews

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    "The book is gorgeous and vividly authentic, a grass-roots people's history in the tradition of Howard Zinn. Congratulations!"

    - Bob Potter
    Prof. Emeritus, UCSB
    Co-author, The Campus by the Sea Where the Bank Burned Down


    "Carmen Lodise is an Isla Vista legend."

    - Santa Barbara Independent

    "This is outstanding! Thanks! I just ordered a copy through Amazon. What a labor of love on your part. The legacy of Isla Vista owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude and on a personal level, so do I."

    - Cloe Mayes Yocum
    UCSB student, mid-1970s

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    "Just started the book. Enjoying it very much. Much of it not new to me yet -- but it reminds me a lot about how much I owe Isla Vista. I think someone could never really know me without knowing what our community was/is like."

    - Glen Lazof
    Isla Vista Community Council, 1983-84
    I.V. Park District GM, ~1985-93



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    "Received your book just yesterday. I am very happy and showed it to just about everyone I could, people couldn't stop telling me how cool that was. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate it a lot and hope it sells well. It seems to be the only book on Isla Vista, is that true? If not it still must be the most complete and have the most information/inside perspective!! Thanks a million."

    - John Roberts,
    UCSB student, 2008


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    "GREAT JOB. You've done a great service not only to IV but USA and world by writing it."

    - Rob Puddicombe,
    Chair, The Committee to Save Perfect Park

    "Thanks again for the book, i'm totally honored to have a personal copy! my level of Isla Vista history pride is pretty insurmountable, so that was possibly the most exciting thing i ever could have received!"

    - Melissa Cohen,
    Marketing Manager,
    Isla Vista Food Co-op



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    "Thank you so much for the copy. It's fabulous looking -- actually I haven't been able to pry it away from Frank to read it yet. What a great job."

    - Carrie Topliffe,
    Isla Vista Medical Clinic Board, 1980-1997
    I.V. Park Board, 1980-84
    and author of Chapter 10: "Water Politics and the Third Isla Vista Cityhood Campaign"


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    "For the thousands of students and non-students that have called Isla Vista home at some point since the 1970s, this book is for us. Carmen Lodise fills in the political and cultural history many of us have known on some level, but never fully understood. His clarity of vision of what he fondly refers to as "The Isla Vista Adventure" reveals clearly the heroes and villains behind Isla Vista's successes and defeats and helps point us to what I.V. could be if more self-government were made possible for its residents."

    - Malcolm Gault-Williams,
    Author of Don't Bank on Amerika
    and author of Chapter 2: The Civil Disturbances of 1969-70

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    "Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin famously mocked community organizers, wondering just what it was they did. This book, which documents four decades' worth of community organizing in the village of Isla Vista, California, is a lively textbook for anyone who really wants to know the answer to that question.

    The community of Isla Vista, "96 percent renters and 33 percent paved over," is home to an ever-changing population of UC Santa Barbara students, who are attracted to the university's location at the edge of the Pacific as much as to its educational credentials. The world learned of its existence in 1970 when a Bank of America branch was famously burned, becoming a potent symbol of anti-war sentiment nationwide. This account fleshes out that story and many others that the rest of us only knew from news clippings and sound bites.

    The author, a community organizer, elected official, and the publisher of the Isla Vista Free Press, was physically present during much of the history presented here. Through first-hand accounts and voluminous research, he presents the full story of this vibrant place from its beginning as an Indian settlement to the present day. He has assembled a treasure trove of photographs, news clippings, and interviews with the people who lived the history of Isla Vista.

    Anyone who came of age during the turbulence of the 60's will recognize the characters in this history textbook that reads like a novel."

    - Kathi D

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