First published in 1999, this celebrated history of San Francisco traces the exploitation of both local and distant regions by prominent familiesthe Hearsts, de Youngs, Spreckelses, and otherswho 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.
About the Author
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
Table of Contents
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsPreface to the 2006 EditionPreface to the First Edition: The Urban MaelstromIntroduction: New Romes for a New WorldPart I: Foundations of Dominion1. The Pyramid of Mining2. Water Mains and BloodlinesPart II: The Thought Shapers3. The Scott Brothers: Arms and the Overland Mutiny4. The De Youngs: Society Invents Itself5. The Hearsts: Racial Supremacy and the Digestion of "All Mexico"Part III: Remote Control6. Toward Limitless Energy7. The University, the Gate, and "the Gadget"NotesA Note on SourcesSelect BibliographyIndex