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California - Local History
Looking for Los Angeles: Architecture, Film, Photography, and the Urban Landscape
Looking for Los Angeles
Architecture, Film, Photography, and the Urban Landscape
Paperback      ISBN: 0892366168

Often referred to as the city of the future, Los Angeles is known for its sprawl, its constant change, and its special relationship to the film industry. The twelve contributors to Looking for Los Angeles focus on dramatic shifts in the urban landscape, important moments in the city's
architectural history, and the role of the image in this mecca of image makers.
Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom searches for Los Angeles's center and finds a city that breaks itself down, builds itself up again, displaces and regroups itself and where freedom of movement is a basic premise of life. Historian Philip Ethington documents the city's changing character in both
text and images, urban studies professor Dana Cuff exposes the demise of once-thriving urban neighborhoods to make way for Modernist housing projects, and anthropologist Susan A. Phillips invites us on a personal journey into the projects to meet gang members and their families today. Artist
Robbert Flick offers a sixteen-page, full-color photo-essay that takes us on a drive-by along Alameda Avenue, architectural historian Thomas S. Hines traces Frank Lloyd Wright's influence on the life and career of photographer Edmund Teske, and film historian Robert L. Carringer examines Los
Angeles as a setting for Hollywood feature films.

Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin
Imperial San Francisco
Urban Power, Earthly Ruin
Hardcover      ISBN: 0520215680

San Francisco is a city clouded in myth. This urban biography provides an entirely new vision of the city's history, laying bare the inner dynamics of the regional civilization centered in San Francisco. Imperial San Francisco examines the far-reaching environmental impact that one city and the elite families that hold power in it have had on the Pacific Basin for over a century and a half. The book provides a literate, myth-shattering interpretation of the hidden costs that the growth of San Francisco has exacted on its surrounding regions, presenting along the way a revolutionary new theory of urban development. Written in a lively, accessible style, the narrative is filled with vivid characters, engrossing stories, and a rich variety of illustrations.

As he uncovers the true costs of building an imperial city, Gray Brechin addresses the dynastic ambitions of frontier oligarchies, the environmental and social effects of the mining industry, the creation of two universities, the choice of imperial architecture to symbolize the aspirations of San Franciscans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, manipulation of public thought by the city's media, and more. He traces the exploitation of both local and distant regions by prominent families--the Hearsts, de Youngs, Spreckelses, and others--who gained wealth and power through mining, control of ranching, water and energy, transportation, real estate, and weapons.

This broad history of San Francisco is a story of greed and ambition on an epic scale. Imperial San Francisco incorporates rare period illustrations, personal correspondence, and public statements to show how a little-known power elite has used the city as a tool to increase its own wealth and power. Brechin's story advances a new way of understanding urban history as he traces the links among environment, economy, and technology that led, ultimately, to the creation of the atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race.

Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction Book of 2000
The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk
The Mayor of Castro Street
The Life & Times of Harvey Milk
Paperback      ISBN: 0312560850

The Mayor of Castro Street is Shilts's acclaimed story of Harvey Milk, the man whose personal life, public career, and tragic assassination mirrored the dramatic and unprecedented emergence of the gay community in America during the 1970s.

Known as The Mayor of Castro Street even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk's personal and political life is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

The Mayor of Castro Street is a story of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassination in City Hall and massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

Harvey Milk has been the subject of numerous books and movies, including the Academy Award-winning 1984 documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk. His life is also the basis of a 2008 major motion picture, Milk, starring Sean Penn.
Napa: The Story of an American Eden
Napa
The Story of an American Eden
Paperback      ISBN: 0618257985

James Conaway's remarkable bestseller delves into the heart of California's lush and verdant Napa Valley, also known as America's Eden. Long the source of succulent grapes and singular wines, this region is also the setting for the remarkable true saga of the personalities behind the winemaking empires. This is the story of Gallos and Mondavis, of fortunes made and lost, of dynasties and destinies. In this delightful, full-bodied social history, James Conaway charts the rise of a new aristocracy and, in so doing, chronicles the collective ripening of the American dream. More than a wine book, Napa is a must-read for anyone interested in our country's obsession with money, land, power, and prestige.

Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love
Season of the Witch
Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love
Paperback      ISBN: 1439108242
The critically acclaimed, San Francisco Chronicle bestseller--a gripping story of the strife and tragedy that led to San Francisco's ultimate rebirth and triumph.

Salon founder David Talbot chronicles the cultural history of San Francisco and from the late 1960s to the early 1980s when figures such as Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin, Jim Jones, and Bill Walsh helped usher from backwater city to thriving metropolis.
The Yosemite
The Yosemite
Paperback      ISBN: 0812967011

In the spring of 1869, John Muir was looking for means of support to fund his explorations of California's Central Valley region. A ranch owner offered him a job herding sheep in the Sierra Nevada. As he explored the region, he jotted down his keen observations of the scenic countryside, and he eventually became a guide for some of Yosemite's most famous visitors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Muir documented these experiences in The Yosemite, first published in 1912. It is at once a vivid, accurate description of the land and a passionate homage to nature.

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is a facsimile of the 1912 edition and includes the original illustrations.
Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles
Eternity Street
Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles
Paperback      ISBN: 0393353656

Los Angeles is a city founded on blood. Once a small Mexican pueblo teeming with Californios, Indians, and Americans, all armed with Bowie knives and Colt revolvers, it was among the most murderous locales in the Californian frontier. In Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles, a vivid, disturbing portrait of early Los Angeles (Publishers Weekly), John Mack Faragher weaves a riveting narrative of murder and mayhem, featuring a cast of colorful characters vying for their piece of the city. These include a newspaper editor advocating for lynch laws to enact a crude manner of racial justice and a mob of Latinos preparing to ransack a county jail and murder a Texan outlaw. In this groundbreaking (True West) look at American history, Faragher shows us how the City of Angels went from a lawless outpost to the sprawling metropolis it is today.

The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles
The Mirage Factory
Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles
Hardcover      ISBN: 0451496388
From bestselling author Gary Krist, the story of the metropolis that never should have been and the visionaries who dreamed it into reality

Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California--bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges--seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world's iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles' meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, an immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer, designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, gave L.A. its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cemented the city's identity as a center for spiritual exploration.

All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists, of a kind. The images they conjured up--of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun--were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained.

Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination.

San Francisco Then and Now
San Francisco Then and Now
2nd Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 1607100037

There's no denying the charm of San Francisco, a city perched on rolling hills, where "little cable cars climb halfway to the stars." With dramatic vistas at every turn, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Bay to the east, its cityscape is like no other place on Earth. Discover the "City by the Bay" in this new second edition of the best-selling San Francisco Then and Now. Filled with amazing then-and-now photographs, some previously unpublished, that include cable cars, the Ferry Building, Palace of Fine Arts, and the Transamerica Pyramid, all the city's most popular attractions. This unique book features a selection of dramatic photos taken before, during, and after the 1906 Earthquake and fire. See how the city rose from the ashes with a series of skyline photos. San Francisco's most beloved landmark gets the royal treatment. Compare a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge during its construction in 1934 to its current elegant grandeur. How did Lombard Street get to be the "crookedest street in the world?" See it in 1922 when it was under construction and what it looks like now. This new second edition is sure to make a great gift or souvenir for everyone who's ever visited "Babylon by the Bay."

From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind
From West to East
California and the Making of the American Mind
Hardcover      ISBN: 0684831341

A history of California from the sixteenth century to the present day which attempts to show that American national culture developed first in the East, and spread Westward across the frontier, in opposition to the more common theory that American identity is rooted in Westward expansion.