Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, With a New Preface

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University of California Press, Sep 3, 2006 - History - 402 pages
19 Reviews
First published in 1999, this celebrated history of San Francisco traces the exploitation of both local and distant regions by prominent families—the Hearsts, de Youngs, Spreckelses, and others—who gained power through mining, ranching, water and energy, transportation, real estate, weapons, and the mass media. The story uncovered by Gray Brechin is one of greed and ambition on an epic scale. Brechin arrives at a new way of understanding urban history as he traces the connections between environment, economy, and technology and discovers links that led, ultimately, to the creation of the atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race. In a new preface, Brechin considers the vulnerability of cities in the post-9/11 twenty-first century.
  

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Review: Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin (California Studies in Critical Human Geography #3)

User Review  - catharine - Goodreads

A good overview of local California history, including the backstory on Hetche Hetchy. Read full review

Review: Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin (California Studies in Critical Human Geography #3)

User Review  - Patrick - Goodreads

Decent, good background to how SF got to where it is. A little overboard on the wickedness of (old time) capitalism. Read full review

Contents

New Romes for a New World
1
The Pyramid or Mining
13
Water Mains and Bloodlines
71
The Scott Brothers Arms and the Overland Monthly
121
The De Youngs Society Invents Itself
171
The Hearsts Racial Supremacy and the Digestion of All Mexico
200
Toward Limitless Energy
245
The University the Gate and the Gadget
280
Notes
331
A Note on Sources
359
Select Bibliography
361
Index
389
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Gray Brechin has worked as a journalist and television producer and is coauthor of Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream (UC Press). He received his Ph.D. from the U.C. Berkeley Department of Geography in 1998

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