History
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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San Francisco's Jewel City
The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915
Laura A. Ackley
2015 marks the centennial year of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, when host city San Francisco emerged from the ashes of earthquake and fire as a center of beauty and progress. On the Presidio's waterfront and in what is now the Marina District, courtyards, formal gardens, and eleven Beaux-Arts palaces made up a miniature city.
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Memories of Our Future
Selected Essays 1982-1999
Ammiel Alcalay
Voted one of the Top 25 Books of 1999 by the Village Voice."An outstanding anthology of essays surveying the complexities of Mediterranean cultures; the diverse, changing space of the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa-areas of diasporas...
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Fields of Blood
Religion and the History of Violence
Karen Armstrong
From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence. For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11 perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and...
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The Barbary Coast
An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld
Herbert Asbury
You're standing right in it! The Barbary Coast. 150 years ago this area was a den of such vice and iniquity that it would've made even the Marquis de Sade blush. Find out why... —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
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The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin
The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher
Kim Bancroft
Northern California's book publishers are idiosyncratic, uncompromising, funky, forward-thinking, often brilliant, but largely unheralded beyond the state’s borders. Here’s the perfect book to shift that paradigm. Malcolm Margolin’s story of creating and sustaining Heyday Books, a vital Berkeley-based press celebrating its 40th anniversary...
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The Half Has Never Been Told
Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
Edward E. Baptist
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in...
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You Can't Win
Jack Black
You Can't Win, the beloved memoir of real lowdown Americana by criminal hobo Jack Black, was first published in 1926, then reprinted in 1988 by Adam Parfrey’s Amok Press, featuring an introduction by William S. Burroughs...
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You Can't Win
Jack Black
An amazing journey into the hobo underworld circa 1920. Jack Black takes his readers frieght-hopping around the still wide open West...
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The Secret History of the World
Mark Booth
They say that history is written by the victors. But what if history--or what we come to know as history--has been written by the wrong people? What if everything we've been told is only part of the story? What if it's the wrong part?
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S O S — Calling All Black People
A Black Arts Movement Reader
John H. Bracey Jr., Sonia Sanchez, James Smethurst
This volume brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists circles, writers workshops, drama groups, dance troupes...
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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
An Indian History of the American West
Dee Brown
Detailed from many tribes' histories: the story of how we destroyed the Native American peoples. It will make you weep at the end of each chapter. —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
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A History of Histories
Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century
John Burrow
Treating the practice of history not as an isolated pursuit but as an aspect of human society and an essential part of the culture of the West, John Burrow magnificently brings to life and explains the distinctive qualities found in the work of...
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Ten Years That Shook the City
San Francisco 1968-1978
Chris Carlsson
The alliances, programs, and goals of a historic decade that continues to shape SF and the world.
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Codex Espangliensis
From Columbus to the Border Patrol
Enrique Chagoya, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Felicia Rice
Inspired by the pre-Hispanic codices that escaped immolation during colonial invasions, this artists' book opens out in accordion folds expanding to a length of over 21 feet. Rice has created a series of beautiful and jarring montages in which the...

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