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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Writing on the Wall
Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Johanna Fernández
New Release: Mumia Abu-Jamal's essential perspectives on black experience, race relations, freedom, justice, social change, and the future of American society. With a foreword by Cornel West.
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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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The Watchers
A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I
Stephen Alford
We think we have evolved—we haven't. The politics of any age are the politics of all ages. Whether 5000, 2500, 1000, 500 or 50 years ago, the reasoning and methods are the same. They win, we lose. Parallels abound with both the Cold War and Post-9/11 Weltenschauung. —Recommended by Jeff, City Lights Books
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Alice
Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute
Alice Smith, Ivy Anderson, Devon Angus
Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute reveals the long lost memoir of Alice Smith, a sex worker from San Francisco in 1913. Discovered and edited by our very own bookseller, Ivy Anderson, and her partner in history, Devon Angus, this memoir uncovers complex intersections between gender, labor, and vice in San Francisco and the greater U.S.
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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 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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Empire of Cotton
A Global History
Sven Beckert
The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today.
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The Next American Revolution
Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Updated and Expanded Edition
Grace Lee Boggs
A world dominated by America and driven by cheap oil, easy credit, and conspicuous consumption is unraveling before our eyes. In this powerful, deeply humanistic book, Grace Lee Boggs, a legendary figure in the struggle for justice in America...
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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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San Francisco Chinatown
A Guide to Its History and Architecture
Philip P. Choy
Both a history of America's oldest Chinese community and a guide to its significant sites and architecture San Francisco Chinatown is the first book of its kind, written by someone born and raised there.
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Fantasies of the Master Race
Literature, Cinema, and the Colonization of American Indians
Ward Churchill
Chosen an "Outstanding Book on the Subject of Human Rights in the United States" by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights. In this volume of incisive essays, Ward Churchill looks at representations of American Indians in literature...
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Kill the Indian, Save the Man
The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools
Ward Churchill
For five consecutive generations, from roughly 1880 to 1980, Native American children in the United States and Canada were forcibly taken from their families and relocated to residential schools.
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A Little Matter of Genocide
Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present
Ward Churchill
Ward Churchill has achieved an unparalleled reputation as a scholar-activist and analyst of indigenous issues in North America. Here, he explores the history of holocaust and denial in this hemisphere, beginning with the arrival of Columbus and...

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