• 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 is available to buy online.





  • About Isla Vista: A Citizen's History

    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.

  • Reviews

    "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

    "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



    "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


    "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



    "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"


    "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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