City Lights is a landmark independent bookstore and publisher that specializes in world literature, the arts, and progressive politics.

Founded in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin, City Lights is one of the truly great independent bookstores in the United States, a place where booklovers from across the country and around the world come to browse, read, and just soak in the ambiance of alternative culture's only "Literary Landmark."... Read more>>


 

New at City Lights Bookstore


 

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The Jazz of Physics
The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe
Stephon Alexander
More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics' most vexing...

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Eye of the Sixties
Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art
Judith E. Stein
A man with a preternatural ability to find emerging artists, Richard Bellamy was one of the first advocates of pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. The founder and director of the fabled Green Gallery on Fifty-Seventh Street, the witty, poetry-loving art lover became a legend of the avant-garde, showing the work of artists...

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Who Rules the World?
Noam Chomsky
The world's leading intellectual offers a probing examination of the waning American Century, the nature of U.S. policies post-9/11, and the perils of valuing power above democracy and human rights.

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An American Genocide
The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1864-1873
Benjamin Madley
Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended.

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The Mechanical Horse
How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life
Margaret Guroff
With cities across the country adding miles of bike lanes and building bike-share stations, bicycling is enjoying a new surge of popularity in America. It seems that every generation or two, Americans rediscover the freedom of movement, convenience, and relative affordability of the bicycle. The earliest two-wheeler, the draisine...

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Strange Gods
A Secular History of Conversion
Susan Jacoby
In a groundbreaking historical work that addresses religious conversion in the West from an uncompromisingly secular perspective, Susan Jacoby challenges the conventional narrative of conversion as a purely spiritual journey. From the transformation on the road to Damascus of the Jew Saul into the Christian evangelist Paul to...

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The Chaplin Machine
Slapstick, Fordism and the International Communist Avant-Garde
Owen Hatherley
In The Chaplin Machine, Owen Hatherley unearths the hidden history of Soviet film, art, and architecture. Turning upside down the common view that the communist avant-garde was austere and humorless, he reveals an unexpected comedic streak that found its inspiration in the slapstick of the American performers Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

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The Way to the Spring
Life and Death in Palestine
Ben Ehrenreich
From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the everyday struggles of Palestinian life Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages.

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Dadaglobe Reconstructed
Tristan Tzara
Dadaglobe was to be the definitive anthology of the Dada movement. Had it been published in 1921 as planned, it would have constituted more than one hundred artworks by some thirty artists from seven countries, showing Dada to be an artistic and literary movement with truly global reach. Yet it remained unpublished.

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Spain in Our Hearts
Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
Adam Hochschild
From the acclaimed, best-selling author Adam Hochschild, a sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War, told through a dozen characters, including Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell: a tale of idealism, heartbreaking suffering, and a noble cause that failed.

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Nothing Ever Dies
Vietnam and the Memory of War
Viet Thanh Nguyen
All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the bestselling novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of the conflict Americans call the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War―a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both nations.

   

New and Forthcoming from City Lights Publishers

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Dated Emcees
Chinaka Hodge
"These are poems to read every day. To make mantras from. They are the best poems you've ever read."––Daveed Diggs, star of Hamilton

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Rad American Women A-Z
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl
New York Times Bestseller! A book for children—and their parents, teachers, and cool grown-up friends—documenting America's famous and unsung heroines.

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The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir
Susan Daitch
Indiana Jones meets Italo Calvino in a masterful, absurdist blend of biting social satire, rollicking adventure, invented history and mythology.

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Old Angel Midnight
Jack Kerouac
"The only book I've ever written in which I've allowed myself to say absolutely anything I want . . ."—Jack Kerouac

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The Gilda Stories
Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition
Jewelle Gomez
Before Buffy, before Twilight, before Octavia Butler's Fledgling, there was The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez's lush vampire novel.

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The Earth Wants YOU
Reverend Billy Talen
A motivational handbook for earth activists, filled with inspired visions of a wild, creative, Earth-led cultural revolution. Stop shopping and sign up now for the struggle of our lives! Earthalujah!

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Pictures of the Gone World
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The volume that launched City Lights' iconic Pocket Poets Series, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first collection of poems, in an anniversary edition.

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Incidents of Travel in Poetry
New and Selected Poems
Frank Lima, Garrett Caples, Julien Poirier
New and selected work by a major Latino poet, the best kept secret of the New York School.

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Notes on the Assemblage
Juan Felipe Herrera
Newest collection from the U.S. Poet Laureate: Exuberant and socially engaged, reflective and healing, a multi-genre collection of new work from the nation's first Latino Poet Laureate!

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The Beats Abroad
A Global Guide to the Beat Generation
Bill Morgan
The international phase of the Beat Generation's story, documenting their travels and the tremendous influence it had on their writing.

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City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Available Now! A comprehensive selection from Ferlinghetti's famed City Lights Pocket Poets Series, published on the 60th anniversary of its founding.