For the addicted, pregnant, and poor women living in daily-rent hotels in San Francisco's Mission district, life is marked by battles against drug cravings, housing debt, and potential violence. In this stunning ethnography Kelly Ray Knight presents these women in all their complex humanity and asks what kinds of futures are possible for them given their seemingly hopeless situation. During her four years of fieldwork Knight documented women’s struggles as they traveled from the street to the clinic, jail, and family court, and back to the hotels. She approaches addicted pregnancy as an everyday phenomenon in these women's lives and describes how they must navigate the tension between pregnancy's demands to stay clean and the pull of addiction and poverty toward drug use and sex work. By creating the space for addicted women's own narratives and examining addicted pregnancy from medical, policy, and social science perspectives, Knight forces us to confront and reconsider the ways we think about addiction, trauma, health, criminality, and responsibility.
In 1863, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a law that criminalized appearing in public in “a dress not belonging to his or her sex.” Adopted as part of a broader anti-indecency campaign, the cross-dressing law became a flexible tool for policing multiple gender transgressions, facilitating over one hundred arrests before the century’s end. Over forty U.S. cities passed similar laws during this time, yet little is known about their emergence, operations, or effects. Grounded in a wealth of archival material, Arresting Dress traces the career of anti-cross-dressing laws from municipal courtrooms and codebooks to newspaper scandals, vaudevillian theater, freak-show performances, and commercial “slumming tours.” It shows that the law did not simply police normative gender but actively produced it by creating new definitions of gender normality and abnormality. It also tells the story of the tenacity of those who defied the law, spoke out when sentenced, and articulated different gender possibilities.
From the depression of the 1890s through World War I, construction tradesman held an important place in San Francisco's economic, political, and social life. Michael Kazin's award-winning study delves into how the city’s Building Trades Council (BTC) created, accumulated, used, and lost their power. He traces the rise of the BTC into a force that helped govern San Francisco, controlled its potential progress, and articulated an ideology that made sense of the changes sweeping the West and the country. Believing themselves the equals of officeholders and corporate managers, these working and retired craftsmen pursued and protected their own power while challenging conservatives and urban elites for the right to govern. What emerges is a long-overdue look at building trades as a force in labor history within the dramatic story of how the city's 25,000 building workers exercised power on the job site and within the halls of government, until the forces of reaction all but destroyed the BTC.
Indebtedness, like inequality, has become a ubiquitous condition in the United States. Yet few have probed American cities’ dependence on municipal debt or how the terms of municipal finance structure racial privileges, entrench spatial neglect, elide democratic input, and distribute wealth and power.
In this passionate and deeply researched book, Destin Jenkins shows in vivid detail how, beyond the borrowing decisions of American cities and beneath their quotidian infrastructure, there lurks a world of politics and finance that is rarely seen, let alone understood. Focusing on San Francisco, The Bonds of Inequality offers a singular view of the postwar city, one where the dynamics that drove its creation encompassed not only local politicians but also banks, credit rating firms, insurance companies, and the national municipal bond market. Moving between the local and the national, The Bonds of Inequality uncovers how racial inequalities in San Francisco were intrinsically tied to municipal finance arrangements and how these arrangements were central in determining the distribution of resources in the city. By homing in on financing and its imperatives, Jenkins boldly rewrites the history of modern American cities, revealing the hidden strings that bind debt and power, race and inequity, democracy and capitalism.
Chinatown Film Culture provides the first comprehensive account of the emergence of film and moviegoing in the transpacific hub of San Francisco in the early twentieth century. Working with materials previously left in the margins of grand narratives of history, Kim K. Fahlstedt uncovers the complexity of a local entertainment culture that offered spaces where marginalized Chinese Americans experienced and participated in local iterations of modernity. At the same time, this space also fostered a powerful Orientalist aesthetic that would eventually be exported to Hollywood by San Francisco showmen such as Sid Grauman. Instead of primarily focusing on the screen-spectator relationship, Fahlstedt suggests that immigrant audiences' role in the proliferation of cinema as public entertainment in the United States saturated the whole moviegoing experience, from outside on the street to inside the movie theater. By highlighting San Francisco and Chinatown as featured participants rather than bit players, Chinatown Film Culture provides an historical account from the margins, alternative to the more dominant narratives of U.S. film history.
Church and State in the City provides the first comprehensive analysis of the city’s long debate about the public interest. Historian William Issel explores the complex ways that the San Francisco Catholic Church—and its lay men and women—developed relationships with the local businesses, unions, other community groups, and city government to shape debates about how to define and implement the common good. Issel’s deeply researched narrative also sheds new light on the city’s socialists, including Communist Party activists—the most important transnational challengers of both capitalism and Catholicism during the twentieth century.
Moreover, Church and State in the City is revisionist in challenging the notion that the history of urban politics and policy can best be understood as the unfolding of a progressive, secular modernization of urban political culture. Issel shows how tussles over the public interest in San Francisco were both distinctive to the city and shaped by its American character.
In the series Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy, edited by Zane L. Miller, David Stradling, and Larry Bennett
A compelling history of school desegregation and activism in San Francisco
The picture of school desegregation in the United States is often painted with broad strokes of generalization and insulated anecdotes. Its true history, however, is remarkably wide ranging. Class Action tells the story of San Francisco’s long struggle over school desegregation in the wake of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.
San Francisco’s story provides a critical chapter in the history of American school discrimination and the complicated racial politics that emerged. It was among the first large cities outside the South to face court-ordered desegregation following the Brown rulings, and it experienced the same demographic shifts that transformed other cities throughout the urban West. Rand Quinn argues that the district’s student assignment policies—including busing and other desegregative mechanisms—began as a remedy for state discrimination but transformed into a tool intended to create diversity. Drawing on extensive archival research—from court docket files to school district records—Quinn describes how this transformation was facilitated by the rise of school choice, persistent demand for neighborhood schools, evolving social and legal landscapes, and local community advocacy and activism.
Class Action is the first book to present a comprehensive political history of post-Brown school desegregation in San Francisco. Quinn illuminates the evolving relationship between jurisprudence and community-based activism and brings a deeper understanding to the multiracial politics of urban education reform. He responds to recent calls by scholars to address the connections between ideas and policy change and ultimately provides a fascinating look at race and educational opportunity, school choice, and neighborhood schools in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education.
Forty years after the fact, 1960s counterculture---personified by hippies, protest, and the Summer of Love---basks in a nostalgic glow in the popular imagination as a turning point in modern American history and the end of the age of innocence. Yet, while the era has come to be synonymous with rebellion and opposition, its truth is much more complex.
In a bold reconsideration of the late sixties San Francisco counterculture movement, Counterculture Kaleidoscope takes a close look at the cultural and musical practices of that era. Addressing the conventional wisdom that the movement was grounded in rebellion and opposition, the book exposes two myths: first, that the counterculture was an organized social and political movement of progressives with a shared agenda who opposed the mainstream (dubbed "hippies"); and second, that the counterculture was an innocent entity hijacked by commercialism and transformed over time into a vehicle of so-called "hip consumerism."
Seeking an alternative to the now common narrative, Nadya Zimmerman examines primary source material including music, artwork, popular literature, personal narratives, and firsthand historical accounts. She reveals that the San Francisco counterculture wasn't interested in commitments to causes and made no association with divisive issues---that it embraced everything in general and nothing in particular.
"Astute and accessible, Counterculture Kaleidoscope provides thought-provoking insights into the historical, cultural and social context of the San Francisco counter-culture and its music scene, including discussions of Vietnam and student protest, the Haight-Ashbury Diggers, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Altamont, and Charlie Manson. A must for students and scholars of socio-musical activity and for all of us to whom music matters."
---Sheila Whiteley, author of The Space Between the Notes: Rock and the Counter-Culture and Too Much Too Young: Popular Music, Age and Gender
"The hippie counterculture has never garnered the scholarly attention accorded the new left and the black freedom struggle. Overviews of the period ritualistically mention it as part and parcel of that apparently incandescent era---the Sixties---but rarely capture its distinctiveness. Counterculture Kaleidoscope is a timely and provocative intervention in Sixties scholarship that significantly deepens our understanding of this important but understudied phenomenon."
—Alice Echols, Associate Professor, University of Southern California, and author of Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin
Detectives are investigating the death of Dahlia Winter's husband and also looking into the mysterious deaths of young boys who are imported for labor in a future-time San Francisco. Citing the plots of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Terminator 2, and Blade Runner as proof that our sense of inner and outer is tied to rebellion and slavery, the novel appears at first to be a detail of these films all at once, like a colonization of them from the inside. But almost immediately the plot assumes its own life. Based on a conception of the Tibetan written form called Secret Autobiography--which is not the chronological events or actions of a life, but an individual's seeing outside any frames--the novel makes a time-space in which sensation, actions, and thought-memory are occurring alongside our present-day space.
Freewheeling sexuality and gender experimentation defined the social and moral landscape of 1890s San Francisco. Middle class whites crafting titillating narratives on topics such as high divorce rates, mannish women, and extramarital sex centered Chinese and Japanese immigrants in particular.
Amy Sueyoshi draws on everything from newspapers to felony case files to oral histories in order to examine how whites' pursuit of gender and sexual fulfillment gave rise to racial caricatures. As she reveals, white reporters, writers, artists, and others conflated Chinese and Japanese, previously seen as two races, into one. There emerged the Oriental—a single pan-Asian American stereotype weighted with sexual and gender meaning. Sueyoshi bridges feminist, queer, and ethnic studies to show how the white quest to forge new frontiers in gender and sexual freedom reinforced—and spawned—racial inequality through the ever evolving Oriental.
Informed and fascinating, Discriminating Sex reconsiders the origins and expression of racial stereotyping in an American city.
Dockworkers have power. Often missed in commentary on today's globalizing economy, workers in the world's ports can harness their role, at a strategic choke point, to promote their labor rights and social justice causes. Peter Cole brings such overlooked experiences to light in an eye-opening comparative study of Durban, South Africa, and the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Path-breaking research reveals how unions effected lasting change in some of the most far-reaching struggles of modern times. First, dockworkers in each city drew on longstanding radical traditions to promote racial equality. Second, they persevered when a new technology--container ships--sent a shockwave of layoffs through the industry. Finally, their commitment to black internationalism and leftist politics sparked transnational work stoppages to protest apartheid and authoritarianism. Dockworker Power not only brings to light surprising parallels in the experiences of dockers half a world away from each other. It also offers a new perspective on how workers can change their conditions and world.
Doing What Had To Be Done
Soo-Young Chin Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress E184.K6C468 1999 | Dewey Decimal 305.488957073
The first biography of an American-born Korean woman, Doing What Had to Be Done is, on the surface, the life story of Dora Yum Kim. But telling more than one woman's story, author Soo-Young Chin offers more than an unusual glimpse at the shaping of a remarkable community activist. In addition -- as she questions her subject, introduces each chapter, and reflects on how Dora's story relates to her own experience as a Korean American who immigrate to this country as an adult -- she carves around Dora's compelling story and courageous life story a story of her own and one of all Korean Americans.
Born in 1921, Dora, as she tells Chin her story, chronicles the shifting salience of gendered ethnic identity as she journeys through her life. Traveling through time and place, she moves from San Francisco's Chinatown -- where Koreans were a minority within a minority -- to suburban Dewey Boulevard where Dora and her family attempt to integrate into mainstream America, and where she becomes a social worker in the California State Department of Employment. As the Korean immigrant community grows in the late 1960s, Dora becomes deeply involved in community service. She remembers teaching English to senior citizens and preparing them for their naturalization exams, finding jobs for the younger Koreans, and founding a community center and meals program for seniors.
A detailed and inspiring lens through which to view Korean American history, Dora's life journey echoes the changing spaces of the American social landscape. And the grace and ease with which Dora just "does what has to be done" shows us the importance of everyday acts in making a difference.
From the late nineteenth century until the 1920s, authorities required San Francisco's Pesthouse to segregate the diseased from the rest of the city. Although the Pesthouse stood out of sight and largely out of mind, it existed at a vital nexus of civic life where issues of medicine, race, class, environment, morality, and citizenship entwined and played out. Guenter B. Risse places this forgotten institution within an emotional climate dominated by widespread public dread and disgust. In Driven by Fear, he analyzes the unique form of stigma generated by San Franciscans. Emotional states like xenophobia and racism played a part. Yet the phenomenon also included competing medical paradigms and unique economic needs that encouraged authorities to protect the city's reputation as a haven of health restoration. As Risse argues, public health history requires an understanding of irrational as well as rational motives. To that end he delves into the spectrum of emotions that drove extreme measures like segregation and isolation and fed psychological, ideological, and pragmatic urges to scapegoat and stereotype victims--particularly Chinese victims--of smallpox, leprosy, plague, and syphilis.
Filling a significant gap in contemporary scholarship, Driven by Fear looks at the past to offer critical lessons for our age of bioterror threats and emerging infectious diseases.
Ned Rozell University of Alaska Press, 2011 Library of Congress Q143.Y56R69 2011 | Dewey Decimal 551.384
Finding Mars is an interwoven tale of science, travel, and adventure, as science writer Ned Rozell accompanies permafrost researcher—and inveterate wanderer—Kenji Yoshikawa on a 750-mile trek by snowmobile through the Alaska wilderness. Along the way, Rozell learns about Yoshikawa’s fascinating life, from his boyhood in Tokyo to the youthful wanderlust that led him to push a wheeled cart across the Sahara, ski to the South Pole, and take a sailboat into the frozen reaches of the Arctic Ocean, spending a winter frozen in the ice near Barrow. It’s an always on-the-move account of a man driven not just by the desire to fill in the blank spots on a map, but also to learn everything he can about them—and a ringing testament to the power of science, enthusiasm, and individual inspiration.
Against a backdrop of war and anti-Catholic sentiment, one man loses his rights because he is falsely accused
In this fascinating, detailed history, William Issel recounts the civil rights abuses suffered by Sylvester Andriano, an Italian American Catholic civil leader whose religious and political activism in San Francisco provoked an Anti-Catholic campaign against him. A leading figure in the Catholic Action movement, Andriano was falsely accused in state and federal Un-American Activities Committee hearings of having Fascist sympathies prior to and during World War II. As his ordeal began, Andriano was subjected to a hostile investigation by the FBI, whose confidential informants were his political rivals. Furthermore, the U.S. Army ordered him to be relocated on the grounds that he was a security risk.
For Both Cross and Flag provides a dramatic illustration of what can happen when parties to urban political rivalries, rooted in religious and ideological differences, seize the opportunity provided by a wartime national security emergency to demonize their enemy as “a potentially dangerous person.”
Issel presents a cast of characters that includes archbishops, radicals, the Kremlin, and J. Edgar Hoover, to examine the significant role faith-based political activism played in the political culture that violated Andriano’s constitutional rights. Exploring the ramifications of this story, For Both Cross and Flag presents interesting implications for contemporary events and issues relating to urban politics, ethnic groups, and religion in a time of war.
Unlike many social movements, the gay and lesbian struggle for visibility and rights has succeeded in combining a unified group identity with the celebration of individual differences. Forging Gay Identities explores how this happened, tracing the evolution of gay life and organizations in San Francisco from the 1950s to the mid-1990s.
In the early 1960s, computers haunted the American popular imagination. Bleak tools of the cold war, they embodied the rigid organization and mechanical conformity that made the military-industrial complex possible. But by the 1990s—and the dawn of the Internet—computers started to represent a very different kind of world: a collaborative and digital utopia modeled on the communal ideals of the hippies who so vehemently rebelled against the cold war establishment in the first place.
From Counterculture to Cyberculture is the first book to explore this extraordinary and ironic transformation. Fred Turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay–area entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between 1968 and 1998, via such familiar venues as the National Book Award–winning Whole Earth Catalog, the computer conferencing system known as WELL, and, ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley. Thanks to their vision, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative communities, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers.
Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think.
Garbage is a memoir of an exceptional trash collector from the streets and wharves of San Francisco. This is a rollicking first-person narrative that recounts an incredible life led and has amazing nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout its pages.
Stefanelli was trained to be a scavenger by his uncles in the 1940s and 50s at a time when rampant discrimination prevented Italian immigrants and their families from pursuing any other career. From there, he became a ‘boss scavenger’, married a garbage man’s daughter, and climbed the ranks of the Sunset Scavenger Company where he eventually took part in a corporate shakeup that made him the company’s president at only 31 years old. As one of the men at the helm of this booming industry, he became the chief advocate for increasingly innovative recycling and waste management practices in the Bay Area, and a foremost leader of environmentally-conscious business in the world.
Stefanelli’s lively memoir will enlighten readers to the waste management business, an industry that was once considered the lowest rung on the social ladder, but will also show his unparalleled capacity for transformation and vision.
In the decades following World War II, municipal leaders and ordinary citizens embraced San Francisco’s identity as the “Gateway to the Pacific,” using it to reimagine and rebuild the city. The city became a cosmopolitan center on account of its newfound celebration of its Japanese and other Asian American residents, its economy linked with Asia, and its favorable location for transpacific partnerships. The most conspicuous testament to San Francisco’s postwar transpacific connections is the Japanese Cultural and Trade Center in the city’s redeveloped Japanese-American enclave.
Focusing on the development of the Center, Meredith Oda shows how this multilayered story was embedded within a larger story of the changing institutions and ideas that were shaping the city. During these formative decades, Oda argues, San Francisco’s relations with and ideas about Japan were being forged within the intimate, local sites of civic and community life. This shift took many forms, including changes in city leadership, new municipal institutions, and especially transformations in the built environment. Newly friendly relations between Japan and the United States also meant that Japanese Americans found fresh, if highly constrained, job and community prospects just as the city’s African Americans struggled against rising barriers. San Francisco’s story is an inherently local one, but it also a broader story of a city collectively, if not cooperatively, reimagining its place in a global economy.
One of the country’s most picturesque cities and conveniently located just a few hours’ drive from Hollywood, San Francisco became the most frequently and extensively filmed American city beyond the production hubs of Los Angeles and New York in the three decades after World War II. During those years, the cinematic image of the city morphed from the dreamy beauty of Vertigo to the nightmarish wasteland of Dirty Harry, although San Francisco itself experienced no such decline. This intriguing disconnect gives impetus to Hollywood in San Francisco, the most comprehensive study to date of Hollywood’s move from studio to location production in the postwar era.
In this thirty-year history of feature filmmaking in San Francisco, Joshua Gleich tracks a sea change in Hollywood production practices, as location shooting overtook studio-based filming as the dominant production method by the early 1970s. He shows how this transformation intersected with a precipitous decline in public perceptions of the American city, to which filmmakers responded by developing a stark, realist aesthetic that suited America’s growing urban pessimism and superseded a fidelity to local realities. Analyzing major films set in San Francisco, ranging from Dark Passage and Vertigo to The Conversation, The Towering Inferno, and Bullitt, as well as the TV show The Streets of San Francisco, Gleich demonstrates that the city is a physical environment used to stage urban fantasies that reveal far more about Hollywood filmmaking and American culture than they do about San Francisco.
Seven years before the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Page Law sought to stem the tide of Chinese prostitutes entering the United States. Yet during these seven years, it was not just prostitutes but all Chinese females who encountered at best hostility and at worst expulsion when they reached the "Golden Door."
George Anthony Peffer looks at enforcement of immigration laws to provide the first detailed account of Chinese American women's lives in the pre-exclusion era. Peffer documents the habeas corpus trials in which the wives and daughters of Chinese laborers were required to prove their status as legal immigrants or return to China. He also surveys the virulently anti-Chinese coverage of these trials and the issue of Chinese immigration received in California newspapers, confirming that Chinatown's prostitution industry so dominated the popular imagination as to render other classes of female immigrants all but invisible.
Insightful and groundbreaking, If They Don't Bring Their Women Here amplifies the voices of Chinese immigrant women and establishes a place for them within the historiographic framework of Chinese American studies.
In Kids on the Street Joseph Plaster explores the informal support networks that enabled abandoned and runaway queer youth to survive in tenderloin districts across the United States. Tracing the history of the downtown lodging house districts where marginally housed youth regularly lived beginning in the late 1800s, Plaster focuses on San Francisco’s Tenderloin from the 1950s to the present. He draws on archival, ethnographic, oral history, and public humanities research to outline the queer kinship networks, religious practices, performative storytelling, and migratory patterns that allowed these kids to foster social support and mutual aid. He shows how they collectively and creatively managed the social trauma they experienced, in part by building relationships with johns, bartenders, hotel managers, bouncers, and other vice district denizens. By highlighting a politics where the marginal position of street kids is the basis for a moral economy of reciprocity, Plaster excavates a history of queer life that has been overshadowed by major narratives of gay progress and pride.
Much of the wealth from the great mining bonanzas of the nineteenth century American West flowed into San Francisco and made possible the growth of the city and some fabulous personal fortunes. Among the wealthiest and most powerful of the Bonanza Kings were William Bowers Bourn I and his son and successor, William Bowers Bourn II. Their wealth came from rich mines in Nevada’s Comstock Lode and Treasure Hill and California’s Sierra foothills, as well as astute business ventures in the booming port city of San Francisco. Last Bonanza Kings tells their story with all the colorful detail and sweeping sense of epic drama that the characters and their times demand, setting them into the turbulent context of an age of rampant financial and civic growth, major technological advances in mining, lavish philanthropy, and opulent personal lifestyles.
A history of the antigentrification and housing rights movement in San Francisco, Local Protests, Global Movements examines the ability of local urban movements to engage in meaningful contestation with private real estate capital and area governmental leaders in the era of urban neoliberalism.
Using San Francisco as an illuminating case study, Beitel analyzes the innovative ways urban social movements have organized around issues regarding land use, housing, urban ecology, and health care on the local level to understand the changing nature of protest formation around the world.
Reconciling the passing of New Left Ideals and the emergence of mobilization on a global scale, he assesses the limits of contemporary urban movements as conduits for advancing a radical political program. Beitel argues these limits reflect recurrent problems of internal fragmentation, and the manner in which liberal democratic institutions structure processes of political participation and interest representation.
In The Making of "Mammy Pleasant," Lynn M. Hudson examines the folklore of Mary Ellen Pleasant's real and imagined powers. Addressing the lack of a historical record of black women's lives, Hudson argues that the silences and mysteries of Pleasant's past, whether never recorded or intentionally omitted, reveal as much about her life as what has been documented. The Making of "Mammy Pleasant" integrates fact and speculation culled from periodicals, court cases, diaries, letters, Pleasant's interviews with the San Francisco press, and various biographical and fictional accounts. Through Pleasant's remarkable life, Hudson also interrogates the constructions of race, gender, and sexuality during the formative years of California's economy and challenges popular mythology about the liberatory sexual culture of the American West.
In the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, residents of the city’s iconic Mission District bucked the city-wide development plan, defiantly announcing that in their neighborhood, they would be calling the shots. Ever since, the Mission has become known as a city within a city, and a place where residents have, over the last century, organized and reorganized themselves to make the neighborhood in their own image.
In Making the Mission, Ocean Howell tells the story of how residents of the Mission District organized to claim the right to plan their own neighborhood and how they mobilized a politics of place and ethnicity to create a strong, often racialized identity—a pattern that would repeat itself again and again throughout the twentieth century. Surveying the perspectives of formal and informal groups, city officials and district residents, local and federal agencies, Howell articulates how these actors worked with and against one another to establish the very ideas of the public and the public interest, as well as to negotiate and renegotiate what the neighborhood wanted. In the process, he shows that national narratives about how cities grow and change are fundamentally insufficient; everything is always shaped by local actors and concerns.
"People who live in California deny the past," asserts Alejandro Murguía. In a state where "what matters is keeping up with the current trends, fads, or latest computer gizmo," no one has "the time, energy, or desire to reflect on what happened last week, much less what happened ten years ago, or a hundred." From this oblivion of memory, he continues, comes a false sense of history, a deluded belief that the way things are now is the way they have always been.
In this work of creative nonfiction, Murguía draws on memories—his own and his family's reaching back to the eighteenth century—to (re)construct the forgotten Chicano-indigenous history of California. He tells the story through significant moments in California history, including the birth of the mestizo in Mexico, destruction of Indian lifeways under the mission system, violence toward Mexicanos during the Gold Rush, Chicano farm life in the early twentieth century, the Chicano Movement of the 1960s, Chicano-Latino activism in San Francisco in the 1970s, and the current rebirth of Chicano-Indio culture. Rejecting the notion that history is always written by the victors, and refusing to be one of the vanquished, he declares, "This is my California history, my memories, richly subjective and atavistic."
A Negotiated Landscape examines the transformation of San Francisco’s iconic waterfront from the eve of its decline in 1950 to the turn of the millennium. What was once a major shipping port is now best known for leisure and entertainment.
To understand this landscape Jasper Rubin not only explores the built environment but also the major forces that have been at work in its redevelopment. While factors such as new transportation technology and economic restructuring have been essential to the process and character of the waterfront’s transformation, the impact of local, grassroots efforts by planners, activists, and boosters have been equally critical.
The first edition of A Negotiated Landscape won the 2012 prize for best book in planning history from the International Planning History Society. Much has changed in the five years since that edition was published. For this second edition, Rubin provides a new concluding chapter that updates the progress of planning on San Francisco’s waterfront and examines debates over the newest visions for its development.
Gentrification is transforming cities, small and large, across the country. Though it’s easy to bemoan the diminished social diversity and transformation of commercial strips that often signify a gentrifying neighborhood, determining who actually benefits and who suffers from this nebulous process can be much harder. The full story of gentrification is rooted in large-scale social and economic forces as well as in extremely local specifics—in short, it’s far more complicated than both its supporters and detractors allow.
In Newcomers, journalist Matthew L. Schuerman explains how a phenomenon that began with good intentions has turned into one of the most vexing social problems of our time. He builds a national story using focused histories of northwest Brooklyn, San Francisco’s Mission District, and the onetime site of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project, revealing both the commonalities among all three and the place-specific drivers of change. Schuerman argues that gentrification has become a too-easy flashpoint for all kinds of quasi-populist rage and pro-growth boosterism. In Newcomers, he doesn’t condemn gentrifiers as a whole, but rather articulates what it is they actually do, showing not only how community development can turn foul, but also instances when a “better” neighborhood truly results from changes that are good. Schuerman draws no easy conclusions, using his keen reportorial eye to create sharp, but fair, portraits of the people caught up in gentrification, the people who cause it, and its effects on the lives of everyone who calls a city home.
In this rich, surprising portrait of the world of lesbian and gay relationships, Christopher Carrington unveils the complex and artful ways that gay people create and maintain both homes and "chosen" families for themselves.
"Carefully separating stereotype from reality, Carrington investigates family in the gay and lesbian community. Relying upon interviews and observation, the author analyzes the loves and routings of 52 diverse lesbian, gay, and bisexual couples in the Bay area. . . . [He] closes the work with a discussion of the raging same-sex marriage debate and posits an enlightened solution to this dilemma." —Library Journal
When Julia Scully was seven years old, her father committed suicide, and she and her sister were sent to an orphanage. Two years later, emotionally damaged by the isolation and brutality of the orphanage, the girls followed their mother to the near-wilderness of the gold-mining territory north of Nome, Alaska, where she had leased a roadhouse in the tiny settlement of Taylor. Julia had no idea what to expect when she arrived, but to her surprise, she found a healing power in the stark beauty of the vast tundra. Later, she reveled in the boisterous, chaotic boomtown atmosphere that prevailed when thousands of American troops descended on Nome at the outbreak of World War II.
Outside Passage is a lyrical and affecting memoir of those years, simultaneously an emotional account of a young girl’s first steps into adulthood and a unique portrait of a vanished frontier life.
This fascinating book reveals that Chinese Americans began “shooting hoops” nearly a century before Chinese superstar Yao Ming turned pro. Drawing on interviews with players and coaches, Outside the Paint takes readers back to San Francisco in the 1930s and 1940s, when young Chinese American men and women developed a new approach to the game—with fast breaks, intricate passing and aggressive defense—that was ahead of its time.
Every chapter tells a surprising story: the Chinese Playground, the only public outdoor space in Chinatown; the Hong Wah Kues, a professional barnstorming men’s basketball team; the Mei Wahs, a championship women’s amateur team; Woo Wong, the first Chinese athlete to play in Madison Square Garden; and the extraordinarily talented Helen Wong, whom Kathleen Yep compares to Babe Didrikson.
Outside the Paint chronicles the efforts of these highly accomplished athletes who developed a unique playing style that capitalized on their physical attributes, challenged the prevailing racial hierarchy, and enabled them, for a time, to leave the confines of their segregated world. They learned to dribble, shoot, and steal.
Paper Sons: A Memoir
Dickson Lam Autumn House Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3612.A543283Z46 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Set in a public housing project in San Francisco, Lam's memoir explores his transformation from a teenage graffiti writer to a high school teacher working with troubled youth while navigating the secret violence in his immigrant's family's past.
"The Possibility of Popular Justice is essential reading for scholars and practitioners of community mediation and should be very high on the list of anyone seriously concerned with dispute resolution in general. The book offers many rewards for the advanced student of law and society studies." --Law and Politics Book Review
"These immensely important articles--fifteen in all--take several academic perspectives on the [San Francisco Community Boards] program's diverse history, impact, and implications for 'popular justice.' These articles will richly inform the program, polemical, and political perspectives of anyone working on 'alternative programs' of any sort." -- IARCA Journal
"Few collections are so well integrated, analytically penetrating, or as readable as this fascinating account. It is a 'must read' for anyone interested in community mediation." --William M. O'Barr, Duke University
"You do not have to be involved in mediation to appreciate this book. The authors use the case as a launching pad to evaluate the possibilities and 'impossibilities' of building community in complex urban areas and pursuing popular justice in the shadow of state law." --Deborah M. Kolb, Harvard Law School and Simmons College
Sally Engle Merry is Professor of Anthropology, Wellesley College. Neal Milner is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution, University of Hawaii.
San Francisco is the endgame of gentrification, where racialized displacement means that the Black population of the city hovers at just over 3 percent. The Robeson Justice Academy opened to serve the few remaining low-income neighborhoods of the city, with the mission of offering liberatory, social justice--themed education to youth of color. While it features a progressive curriculum including Frantz Fanon and Audre Lorde, the majority Latinx school also has the district's highest suspension rates for Black students. In Progressive Dystopia Savannah Shange explores the potential for reconciling the school's marginalization of Black students with its sincere pursuit of multiracial uplift and solidarity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and six years of experience teaching at the school, Shange outlines how the school fails its students and the community because it operates within a space predicated on antiblackness. Seeing San Francisco as a social laboratory for how Black communities survive the end of their worlds, Shange argues for abolition over revolution or progressive reform as the needed path toward Black freedom.
Co-Winner of the 2015 Charles Tilly Award for Best Book of the Collective Behavior and Social Movements section from the American Sociological Association
Over four thousand gay and lesbian couples married in the city of San Francisco in 2004. The first large-scale occurrence of legal same-sex marriage, these unions galvanized a movement and reignited the debate about whether same-sex marriage, as some hope, challenges heterosexual privilege or, as others fear, preserves that privilege by assimilating queer couples.
In Queering Marriage, Katrina Kimport uses in-depth interviews with participants in the San Francisco weddings to argue that same-sex marriage cannot be understood as simply entrenching or contesting heterosexual privilege. Instead, she contends, these new legally sanctioned relationships can both reinforce as well as disrupt the association of marriage and heterosexuality.
During her deeply personal conversations with same-sex spouses, Kimport learned that the majority of respondents did characterize their marriages as an opportunity to contest heterosexual privilege. Yet, in a seeming contradiction, nearly as many also cited their desire for access to the normative benefits of matrimony, including social recognition and legal rights. Kimport’s research revealed that the pattern of ascribing meaning to marriage varied by parenthood status and, in turn, by gender. Lesbian parents were more likely to embrace normative meanings for their unions; those who are not parents were more likely to define their relationships as attempts to contest dominant understandings of marriage.
By posing the question—can queers “queer” marriage?—Kimport provides a nuanced, accessible, and theoretically grounded framework for understanding the powerful effect of heterosexual expectations on both sexual and social categories.
Winner, 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies
Since the 1970s, a key goal of lesbian and gay activists has been protection against street violence, especially in gay neighborhoods. During the same time, policymakers and private developers declared the containment of urban violence to be a top priority. In this important book, Christina B. Hanhardt examines how LGBT calls for "safe space" have been shaped by broader public safety initiatives that have sought solutions in policing and privatization and have had devastating effects along race and class lines.
Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic research in New York City and San Francisco, Hanhardt traces the entwined histories of LGBT activism, urban development, and U.S. policy in relation to poverty and crime over the past fifty years. She highlights the formation of a mainstream LGBT movement, as well as the very different trajectories followed by radical LGBT and queer grassroots organizations. Placing LGBT activism in the context of shifting liberal and neoliberal policies, Safe Space is a groundbreaking exploration of the contradictory legacies of the LGBT struggle for safety in the city.
Now back in print with a new introduction by the author, this is the
classic study of America's most admired instant city, from its days as
a sleepy Mexican village, through the Gold Rush and into its establishment
as a major international port. Roger Lotchin examines the urbanizing influences
in San Francisco and compares these to other urban centers, doing so against
a colorful backdrop of opium dens and other sinful institutions.
This "almost shamefully readable book" will be of "dramatic
interest to anyone concerned with American history, American cities, or--more
fundamentally--the American character." -- The New Republic
"Comprehensive and absorbing. . . . Roger Lotchin's prose style
is brilliant, his research staggering, and his conclusions thought-provoking.
This is urban history at its best." -- Kenneth T. Jackson, Columbia
San Francisco is known and loved around the world for its iconic man-made structures, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Transamerica Pyramid. Yet its Civic Center, with the grandest collection of monumental municipal buildings in the United States, is often overlooked, drawing less global and local interest, despite its being an urban planning marvel featuring thirteen government office and cultural buildings.
In The San Francisco Civic Center, James Haas tells the complete story of San Francisco’s Civic Center and how it became one of the most complete developments envisioned by any American city. Originally planned and designed by John Galen Howard in 1912, the San Francisco Civic Center is considered in both design and materials one of the finest achievements of the American reformist City Beautiful movement, an urban design movement that began more than a century ago.
Haas meticulously unravels the Civic Center’s story of perseverance and dysfunction, providing an understanding and appreciation of this local and national treasure. He discusses why the Civic Center was built, how it became central to the urban planning initiatives of San Francisco in the early twentieth century, and how the site held onto its founders’ vision despite heated public debates about its function and achievement. He also delves into the vision for the future and related national trends in city planning and the architectural and art movements that influenced those trends.
Riddled with inspiration and leadership as well as controversy, The San Francisco Civic Center, much like the complex itself, is a stunning manifestation of the confident spirit of one of America’s most dynamic and creative cities.
A local rock star once said, “San Francisco is forty-nine square miles surrounded by reality.” No American city has such a broad sweep of staggering views—of the ocean, of a huge bay, of surrounding hills—or such a high opinion of its own worth. San Francisco has always been rich, too; the city’s great wealth has long underwritten the broadmindedness so vital to its charm. But there is much more to the City by the Bay than money and rarefied air, and, in San Francisco, Michael Johns intimately portrays the history and surprisingly complex sensibilities that give this small city its outsized personality.
Johns explores how, despite its sophistication, San Francisco retains a frontier quality that has always attracted seekers—of fortune, power, pleasure, refuge, rebellion. Yet the city is more than irreverent, independent, and a bit outside the law: it’s also historically progressive, technologically innovative, and open to all kinds of people and ideas. As Johns shows us, San Francisco is an easy place to be different—a home to the Beats and the hippies, a vibrant LGBT community and left-wing politics, the rise of Burning Man, and the creation of technologies that make today’s San Francisco the City of Apps. From Haight-Ashbury to the Tenderloin, Chinatown to the Mission, Johns’s urban journey blends historical narrative, personal reflections on the city today, and a treasure trove of images for a true San Francisco treat.
The struggle to save the International Hotel and prevent the eviction of its elderly residents became a focal point in the creation of the contemporary Asian American movement, especially among Filipinos. Like other minorities who were looking for positive models in their past to build an identity movement, Filipino youth found their "roots" in the stories and lives of the "manongs" (respected elders), and the anti-eviction movement became a key site for the formation of a distinct Filipino American consciousness. Estella Habal, a student activist during the anti-eviction protests, relates this history within the context of the broader left politics of the era, the urban housing movement, and San Francisco city politics. Ultimately, the hotel was razed, but a new one now occupies the site and commemorates the residents and activists who fought for low-income housing for the elderly and their right to remain in their own community.
Combining the experiences of ordinary people with urban politics and history, Saving San Francisco challenges the long-lived myth that the 1906 disaster erased social differences as it leveled the city. Highlighting new evidence from San Francisco’s relief camps, Andrea Rees Davies shows that as policy makers directed various forms of aid to groups and projects that enjoyed high social status before the disaster, the widespread need and dislocation created opportunities for some groups to challenge biased relief policy. Poor and working-class refugees organized successful protests, while Chinatown business leaders and middle-class white women mobilized resources for the less privileged. Ultimately, however, the political and financial elite shaped relief and reconstruction efforts and cemented social differences in San Francisco.
Faced with intolerable congestion and noxious pollution, cities around the world are rethinking their reliance on automobiles. In the United States a loosely organized livability movement seeks to reduce car use by reconfiguring urban space into denser, transit-oriented, walkable forms, a development pattern also associated with smart growth and new urbanism. Through a detailed case study of San Francisco, Jason Henderson examines how this is not just a struggle over what type of transportation is best for the city, but a series of ideologically charged political fights over issues of street space, public policy, and social justice.
Historically San Francisco has hosted many activist demonstrations over its streets, from the freeway revolts of the 1960s to the first Critical Mass bicycle rides decades later. Today the city's planning and advocacy establishment is changing zoning laws to limit the number of parking spaces, encouraging new car-free housing near transit stations, and applying "transit first" policies, such as restricted bus lanes. Yet Henderson warns that the city's accomplishments should not be romanticized. Despite significant gains by livability advocates, automobiles continue to dominate the streets, and the city's financially strained bus system is slow and often unreliable.
Both optimistic and cautionary, Henderson argues that ideology must be understood as part of the struggle for sustainable cities and that three competing points of view—progressive, neoliberal, and conservative—have come to dominate the contemporary discourse about urban mobility. Consistent with its iconic role as an incubator of environmental, labor, civil rights, and peace movements, San Francisco offers a compelling example of how the debate over sustainable urban transportation may unfold both in the United States and globally.
During the Sixties the nation turned its eyes to San Francisco as the city's police force clashed with movements for free speech, civil rights, and sexual liberation. These conflicts on the street forced Americans to reconsider the role of the police officer in a democracy. In The Streets of San Francisco Christopher Lowen Agee explores the surprising and influential ways in which San Francisco liberals answered that question, ultimately turning to the police as partners, and reshaping understandings of crime, policing, and democracy.
The Streets of San Francisco uncovers the seldom reported, street-level interactions between police officers and San Francisco residents and finds that police discretion was the defining feature of mid-century law enforcement. Postwar police officers enjoyed great autonomy when dealing with North Beach beats, African American gang leaders, gay and lesbian bar owners, Haight-Ashbury hippies, artists who created sexually explicit works, Chinese American entrepreneurs, and a wide range of other San Franciscans. Unexpectedly, this police independence grew into a source of both concern and inspiration for the thousands of young professionals streaming into the city's growing financial district. These young professionals ultimately used the issue of police discretion to forge a new cosmopolitan liberal coalition that incorporated both marginalized San Franciscans and rank-and-file police officers. The success of this model in San Francisco resulted in the rise of cosmopolitan liberal coalitions throughout the country, and today, liberal cities across America ground themselves in similar understandings of democracy, emphasizing both broad diversity and strong policing.
The history of the United States is often told as a movement westward, beginning at the Atlantic coast and following farmers across the continent. But cities played an equally important role in the country’s formation. Towns sprung up along the Pacific as well as the Atlantic, as Spaniards and Englishmen took Indian land and converted it into private property. In this reworking of early American history, Mary P. Ryan shows how cities—specifically San Francisco and Baltimore—were essential parties to the creation of the republics of the United States and Mexico.
Baltimore and San Francisco share common roots as early trading centers whose coastal locations immersed them in an international circulation of goods and ideas. Ryan traces their beginnings back to the first human habitation of each area, showing how the juggernaut toward capitalism and nation-building could not commence until Europeans had taken the land for city building. She then recounts how Mexican ayuntamientos and Anglo American city councils pioneered a prescient form of municipal sovereignty that served as both a crucible for democracy and a handmaid of capitalism. Moving into the nineteenth century, Ryan shows how the citizens of Baltimore and San Francisco molded landscape forms associated with the modern city: the gridded downtown, rudimentary streetcar suburbs, and outlying great parks. This history culminates in the era of the Civil War when the economic engines of cities helped forge the East and the West into one nation.
A year before 1967's famed Summer of Love, documentary photographer William Gedney set out for San Francisco on a Guggenheim Fellowship to record “aspects of our culture which I believe significant and which I hope will become, in time, part of the visual record of American history.” A Time of Youth brings together eighty-seven of the more than two thousand photographs Gedney took in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood between October 1966 and January 1967. In these photographs Gedney documents the restless and intertwined lives of the disenchanted youth who flocked to what became the epicenter of 1960s counterculture. Gedney lived among these young people in their communal homes, where he captured the intimate and varied contours of everyday life: solitude and companionship, joyous celebration and somber quiet, cramped rooms and spacious parks, recreation and contemplation. In these images Gedney presents a portrait of a San Francisco counterculture that complicates popular depictions of late 1960s youth as carefree flower children. The book also includes facsimiles of handwritten descriptions of the scenes Gedney photographed, his thoughts on organizing the book, and other ephemera.
In Women and the Everyday City, Jessica Ellen Sewell explores the lives of women in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. A period of transformation of both gender roles and American cities, she shows how changes in the city affected women's ability to negotiate shifting gender norms as well as how women's increasing use of the city played a critical role in the campaign for women's suffrage.
Focusing on women's everyday use of streetcars, shops, restaurants, and theaters, Sewell reveals the impact of women on these public places-what women did there, which women went there, and how these places were changed in response to women's presence. Using the diaries of three women in San Francisco-Annie Haskell, Ella Lees Leigh, and Mary Eugenia Pierce, who wrote extensively on their everyday experiences-Sewell studies their accounts of day trips to the city and combines them with memoirs, newspapers, maps, photographs, and her own observations of the buildings that exist today to build a sense of life in San Francisco at this pivotal point in history.
Working at the nexus of urban history, architectural history, and cultural geography, Women and the Everyday City offers a revealing portrait of both a major American city during its early years and the women who shaped it-and the country-for generations to come.
An extraordinarily beautiful city that has been celebrated, criticized, and studied in many films, San Francisco is both fragile and robust, at once a site of devastation caused by 1906 earthquake but also a symbol of indomitability in its effort to rebuild afterwards. Its beauty, both natural and manmade, has provided filmmakers with an iconic backdrop since the 1890s, and this guidebook offers an exciting tour through the film scenes and film locations that have made San Francisco irresistible to audiences and auteurs alike.
Gathering more than forty short pieces on specific scenes from San Franciscan films, this book includes essays on topics that dominate the history of filmmaking in the city, from depictions of the Golden Gate Bridge, to the movies Alfred Hitchcock, to the car chases that seem to be mandatory features of any thriller shot there. Some of America’s most famous movies—from Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark to Hitchcock’s Vertigo to Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry —are celebrated alongside smaller movies and documentaries, such as The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, to paint a complete picture of San Francisco in film. A range of expert contributors, including several members of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, discuss a range of films from many genres and decades, from nineteenth-century silents to twentieth-century blockbusters
Audiences across the world, as well as many of the world’s greatest film directors—including Buster Keaton, Orson Welles, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher, and Steven Soderbergh—have been seduced by San Francisco. This book is the ideal escape to the city by the bay for arm chair travelers and cinephiles alike.