Commodity Aesthetics

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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We, Robots
Staying Human in the Age of Big Data
Curtis White
In the tradition of Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget, a rousing, sharply argued—and, yes, inspiring!—reckoning with our blind faith in technology Can technology solve all our problems? Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many of our most famous journalists, pundits, and economists seem to think so.
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Flyboy 2
The Greg Tate Reader
Greg Tate
To call Tate a critic is like calling Charles Mingus a bassist—his intellectual, compositional and lyrical expansiveness catapults one into the cosmic slop of consciousness and opens new neural pathways. —Recommended by Michael, City Lights Books
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Our Gang
A Racial History of The Little Rascals
Julia Lee
It was the age of Jim Crow, riddled with racial violence and unrest. But in the world of Our Gang, black and white children happily played and made mischief together. They even had their own black and white version of the KKK, the Cluck Cluck Klams—and the public loved it.
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Understanding Jim Crow
Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice
David Pilgrim
Selections of racist memorabilia from the collection at the Jim Crow Museum A proper understanding of race relations in this country must include a solid knowledge of Jim Crow—how it emerged, what it was like, how it ended, and its impact on the culture. Understanding Jim Crow introduces readers to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia...
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Men Explain Things To Me
Rebecca Solnit
In her comic, scathing essay, "Men Explain Things to Me," Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works.
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White Girls
Hilton Als
It is, simply put, a privilege to spend time with a writer like Hilton Als. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams
Mark Dery
"I must not think bad thoughts. I must not think bad thoughts." These lyrics by the band X have been my mantra on many occasions as I trudged my way here and there. Lucky for us that Mark Dery goes deep into the territories that many of us shun, illuminating the absurdity, humor and truths found on the dark side. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights
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The Art of Cruelty
A Reckoning
Maggie Nelson
"This is criticism at its best."―Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag and Elaine Scarry, Maggie Nelson has emerged as one of our foremost cultural critics with this landmark work about representations of cruelty and violence in art. From Sylvia Plath's poetry to Francis Bacon’s paintings...
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Friends, Followers and the Future
How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media
Rory O'Connor
Award-winning journalist Rory O'Connor explores how social media is transforming not only politics, media, and business, but every aspect of how we live.
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The Peep Diaries
How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors
Hal Niedzviecki
One man's journey through a rapidly transforming culture of lying, spying, revealing, and confessing
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The Gift
Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Lewis Hyde
By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. Widely available again after twenty-five years, this...
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Hello, I'm Special
How Individuality Became the New Conformity
Hal Niedzviecki
Hal Niedzviecki has a blunt message for the army of tattoo and piercing enthusiasts, bloggers, skateboard warriors, and anyone else walking around with the smug certainty that they are one of a kind: Individuality is the new conformity.