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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Contents

New Romes for a New World
xxxi
The Pyramid or Mining
9
Water Mains and Bloodlines
67
The Scott Brothers Arms and the Overland Monthly
117
The De Youngs Society Invents Itself
167
The Hearsts Racial Supremacy and the Digestion of All Mexico
196
Toward Limitless Energy
241
The University the Gate and the Gadget
276
Notes
327
A Note on Sources
355
Select Bibliography
357
Index
385
Copyright

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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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