Anita Loos said the word Hollywood symbolised \"the epitome of glamour, sex and sin in their most delectable forms\". Hollywood was \"cactus and underbrush\" in 1873, and the sign that has become synonymous with the US movie industry was originally an advertisement for an up-market housing estate, Hollywoodland, marketed as \"the Kingdom of Joy and Health\". The sign went up in 1923, the suffix \"land\" not being removed until 1949. As Braudy shows in this entertaining history, the sign has been the site of a suicide (he doubts the story that the woman who jumped from the H was a disillusioned starlet), it has been painted by Ed Ruscha and has been hijacked to celebrate the decriminalisation of marijuana: Hollyweed. In 1978 the old tattered sign was replaced and, to prevent sabotage, surrounded by razor wire, surveillance cameras and sound detectors. These 45ft-high, white metal letters imbued with what Braudy calls a \"sense of eternal if ambiguous meaning\" are now too valuable to be left unprotected.