My Blue Heaven is about the early history of South Gate, detailing how the early residents often built their own houses. It was a working class suburb in the early industrialization of Los Angeles. It was a segregated society, where home ownership was generally limited to white people.
Also mentioned in the book are the neighboring communities, notably Bell Gardens, and the residents of those communities. In all these cities, there were tracts where people gardened, bartered, and raised animals for food. It was a mashup of urban and rural, often tending more toward rural.