Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin

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University of California Press, Oct 3, 2006 - History - 402 pages
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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New Romes for a New World
The Pyramid or Mining
Water Mains and Bloodlines
The Scott Brothers Arms and the Overland Monthly
The De Youngs Society Invents Itself
The Hearsts Racial Supremacy and the Digestion of All Mexico
Toward Limitless Energy
The University the Gate and the Gadget
A Note on Sources
Select Bibliography

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Page xvii - F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
Page xxii - And an equally basic essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all nations. Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want.

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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