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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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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Command and Control
Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
Eric Schlosser
The entirety of our nuclear policy folly, crystallized in and illuminated by the little-known Damascus near-tragedy. There is, for me, great sadness here... —Recommended by Jeff, City Lights Books
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Stokely
A Life
Peniel E. Joseph
Stokely Carmichael, the charismatic and controversial black activist, stepped onto the pages of history when he called for "Black Power" during a speech one Mississippi night in 1966. A firebrand who straddled both the American civil rights and Black Power movements, Carmichael would stand for the rest of his life at the center of the storm...
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Why Is That Bridge Orange?
San Francisco for the Curious
Art Peterson
Art Peterson has translated his lifelong love affair with his favorite city into a sparkling, well-researched guide, exploring San Francisco's quirks, landmarks and eccentricities. Why Is That Bridge Orange? links everyday sights that are the fabric of San Francisco with answers to nagging questions that tantalize the curious.
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Here On the Edge
How a Small Group of World War II Conscientious Objectors Took Art and Peace from the Margins to the Mainstream
Steve McQuiddy
Here on the Edge answers the growing interest in a long-neglected element of World War II history: the role of pacifism in what is often called "The Good War." Steve McQuiddy shares the fascinating story of one conscientious objector camp located on the rain-soaked Oregon Coast, Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp #56.
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Season of the Witch
Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love
David Talbot
In a kaleidoscopic narrative, the New York Times bestselling author of Brothers recounts the gripping story of the civil strife and tragedies that beset San Francisco between 1967 and 1982—and led to the city's ultimate rebirth and triumph...
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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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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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The Historic Unfulfilled Promise
Howard Zinn
First-ever collection of Howard Zinn's articles from The Progressive (1980–2009) offer timeless analysis and advocacy for freedom, democracy, and social change in the United States.
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The Psychopath Test
A Journey Through the Madness Industry
Jon Ronson
You may be one. But if you're not, someone you know is! An intriguing read. —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played...
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I Must Resist
Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters
Bayard Rustin, Julian Bond, Michael G Long
BAYARD RUSTIN POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE 2013 PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM Bayard Rustin's life story told in his own words through his intimate correspondence, published on the centennial of his birth.
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The Warmth of Other Suns
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson
One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration...
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The Emperor of All Maladies
A Biography of Cancer
Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new...
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Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras
The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe
Carl Ruck, Mark Alwin Hoffman, José Alfredo González Celdrán
A fascinating tour of the mushroom-centered mystery religions which have profoundly influenced Western civilization

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