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Beneath the Underdog
His World as Composed by Mingus
Charles Mingus
A wild, lyrical, and anguished autobiography, in which Charles Mingus pays short shrift to the facts but plunges to the very bottom of his psyche, coming up for air only when it pleases him. He takes the reader through his childhood in Watts, his...



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A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams
The Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics Circle Award winning play—reissued with an introduction by Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), and Williams' essay "The World I Live In." It is a very short list of 20th-century American...



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No Name in the Street
James Baldwin
Both a stunningly personal document and a turbulent portrait of the late-Sixties and early-Seventies, this is Baldwin's literary equivalent of Sly Stone’s furious and despairing There’s a Riot Goin’ On. —Recommended by Michael, City Lights Books



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The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories
Bruno Schulz
This is a book that I will recommend to anyone and everyone. Schulz's writing is torrential, flooding the page with fantastic imagery in order to tell the experiences of a merchant family. Through this style, mundane details of everyday life become...



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The Mayor of Castro Street
The Life and Times of Harvey Milk
Randy Shilts
Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power...



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Street Art San Francisco
Mission Muralismo
With 600 stunning photographs, this comprehensive book showcases more than three decades of street art in San Francisco's legendary Mission District. Beginning in the early 1970s, a provocative street-art movement combining elements of Mexican mural...



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Modernism in the Streets
A Life and Times in Essays
Marshall Berman
Both an intellectual biography and a protean collection of social criticism from the late, preeminent philosopher, urbanist and "Marxist with soul." I was skeptical when I got to his chapter on hip-hop (what could this old white man possibly have to say?) but it burned with insight and radical passion. —Recommended by Michael