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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Black Earth
The Holocaust as History and Warning
Timothy Snyder
In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first.
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New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Charles C. Mann
This is an important book. Mann presents such a massive amount of new material that it represents an absolute return to square-one for Western Hemisphere studies. Easy to understand, even...
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The Gangster Years
David Ward
Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Alvin Karpis, "Dock" Barker--these were just a few of the legendary "public enemies" for whom America's first supermax prison was created. In Alcatraz: The Gangster Years, David Ward brings their stories to life...
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American Pulp
How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street
Paula Rabinowitz
American Pulp tells the story of the midcentury golden age of pulp paperbacks and how they brought modernism to Main Street, democratized literature and ideas, spurred social mobility, and helped readers fashion new identities. Drawing on extensive original research, Paula Rabinowitz unearths the far-reaching political, social, and aesthetic...
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X
As Told to Alex Haley
Alex Haley, Malcolm X
"Extraordinary. A brilliant, painful, and important book." THE NEW YORK TIMESIf there was any one man who articulated the anger, the struggle, and the beliefs of African Americans in the 1960s, that man was Malcolm X. His AUTOBIOGRAPHY is the result...
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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 Black History of the White House
Clarence Lusane
The untold history and politics of the White House from the perspective of African Americans
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The Bomb
Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn's personal, historical, and political views on the significance of the U.S. bombings of Royan and Hiroshima
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The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
David Talbot
During the "thousand days of camelot," JFK and his attorney general brother Bobby were not regarded at all as the iconic, mythic wunderkinds they've become. They were weak, pro-detente doves, soft on communism, antithetical to all that was American...
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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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Cool Gray City of Love
49 Views of San Francisco
Gary Kamiya
Cool Gray City of Love brings together an exuberant combination of personal insight, deeply researched history, in-depth reporting, and lyrical prose to create an unparalleled portrait of San Francisco. Each of its 49 chapters explores a specific site or intersection in the city, from the mighty Golden Gate Bridge to the raunchy Tenderloin...
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A Crack in the Edge of the World
America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
Simon Winchester
Unleashed by ancient geologic forces, a magnitude 8.25 earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April 18, 1906. Less than a minute later, the city lay in ruins.
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Crossing the Bay of Bengal
The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants
Sunil S. Amrith
Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and as a battleground for European empires, while being shaped by monsoons and human migration. Integrating environmental history and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil S. Amrith offers insights to the many challenges...
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Dark Days, Bright Nights
From Black Power to Barack Obama
Peniel E. Joseph
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and '60s is now remembered as a distant, sepia-toned campaign, whose achievements and idealism were soon eclipsed by angry, confrontational Black Power activists. However, far from marking the end of an era, as is commonly thought, the 1965 Voting Rights Act wrested open a dam holding back radical...

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