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.
Gray Brechin has worked as a journalist and television producer and is coauthor of Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream (UC Press).
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Preface to the 2006 Edition Preface to the First Edition: The Urban Maelstrom Introduction: New Romes for a New World Part I: Foundations of Dominion 1. The Pyramid of Mining 2. Water Mains and Bloodlines Part II: The Thought Shapers 3. The Scott Brothers: Arms and the Overland Mutiny 4. The De Youngs: Society Invents Itself 5. The Hearsts: Racial Supremacy and the Digestion of "All Mexico" Part III: Remote Control 6. Toward Limitless Energy 7. The University, the Gate, and "the Gadget" Notes A Note on Sources Select Bibliography Index