About "The Hub" neighborhood in San Francisco
CELEBRATING OUR 9TH ANNIVERSARY
Specializing in books on San Francisco & California history,
the built & the natural environment,
politics & social justice,
cooking, food & farming,
select literature, noir, art, & children's books,
mostly new, some used
Voted SF Weekly Best of Award 2010
BEST NEW BOOKSTORE!
(All events are free unless otherwise noted)
Saturday, February 24, 7pm
Paul Ortiz' new book An African American and Latinx History of the United States is the latest in Beacon Press’s ReVisioning American History series. (Previous titles include Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz' An Indigenous People's History of the United States)
Ortiz' book examines U.S. history through the lens of African-American and Latinx activists. Much of the American history taught in schools is limited to white America, leaving out the impact of non-European immigrants and indigenous peoples. The author corrects that error in a thorough look at the debt of gratitude we owe to the Haitian Revolution, the Mexican War of Independence, and the Cuban War of Independence, all struggles that helped lead to social democracy.
Ortiz shows the history of the workers for what it really was: a fatal intertwining of slavery, racial capitalism, and imperialism. He states that the American Revolution began as a war of independence and became a war to preserve slavery. Thus, slavery is the foundation of American prosperity. With the end of slavery, imperialist America exported segregation laws and labor discrimination abroad. As we moved into Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, we stole their land for American corporations and used the Army to enforce draconian labor laws. This continued in the South and in California.
The rise of agriculture in the US could not have succeeded without cheap labor. Mexican workers were often preferred because, if they demanded rights, they could just be deported. Convict labor worked even better. The author points out the only way success has been gained is by organizing; a great example was the “Day without Immigrants” in 2006. Of course, as Ortiz rightly notes, much more work is necessary, especially since Jim Crow and Juan Crow are resurging as each political gain is met with “legal” countermeasures.
This book is a concise, alternate history of the United States “about how people across the hemisphere wove together antislavery, anticolonial, pro-freedom, and pro-working-class movements against tremendous obstacles.” It is a sleek, vital history that effectively shows how, “from the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the United States Constitution.”
Saturday, March 3, 7pm
co-sponsored by The Poetry Center and the Green Arcade
“What do we make
of the flowering vine
that uses as its trellis
the walls of a prison?”
Join us for a reading and book party for Jackie Wang’s Carceral Capitalism, the newest volume in Semiotext(e)’s Interventions Series. This book of essays includes Wang’s influential critique of liberal anti-racist politics, “Against Innocence,” besides essays on RoboCop, techno-policing, and the aesthetic problem of making invisible forms of power legible. Wang shows that the new racial capitalism begins with parasitic governance and predatory lending that extends credit only to dispossess later, and how new carceral modes emerging since the 1990s have blurred the distinction between the inside and the outside of prison.
Jackie Wang will be introduced by Brandon Brown, and joined by acclaimed essayist and prolific fiction writer Lily Hoang. Hoang, visiting from San Diego where she teaches in the MFA program at UCSD, is the author of five books of essays and fiction, most recently A Bestiary (Cleveland State University Press, 2016), selected by Wayne Koestenbaum for the inaugural Cleveland State University Poetry Center Nonfiction Contest. Koestenbaum notes: “Lily Hoang prompts us to rethink what literature today can aspire to.” And Maggie Nelson adds: “Rarely have I come across tenderness, venom, and fire held so intimately, so exquisitely, as in Lily Hoang’s A Bestiary…. Lily Hoang writes like she has nothing to lose and everything at stake.”
Wednesday, March 28, 7pm
Ananda Esteva's The Wanderings of Chela Coatlicue Alvarez: Touring Califaztlan (Transgress Press) is the first installment of a trilogy of coming-of-age adventures that follows a young brazen musical prodigy in search of a sacred bass once owned by legendary blues musician Sugar Gonzalez.
Adam Smyer's Knucklehead (Akashic Press) is a fierce, intelligent, and often hilarious novel about a young African American attorney who struggles to keep his cool in the politically (and personally) turbulent ’90s.
Tuesday, May 1st, 7pm MAY DAY! MAY DAY!
Richard A. Walker is professor emeritus of geography at the University of California. He has written on a diverse range of topics in economic, urban, and environmental geography. He is coauthor of The Capitalist Imperative (1989) and The New Social Economy (1992) and has written extensively on California, including The Conquest of Bread (2004), The Country in the City (2007) and The Atlas of California (2013). Walker is currently director of the Living New Deal Project, whose purpose is to inventory all New Deal public works sites in the United States and recover the lost memory of government investment for the good of all.
Phil Cohen played a key role in the London counterculture scene of the 1960s. As “Dr. John” he was the public face of the London street commune movement and the occupation of 144 Piccadilly, an event that briefly hit the world’s headlines in July 1969. He subsequently became an urban ethnographer, and for the past forty years he has been involved with working-class communities in East London documenting the impact of structural and demographic change on their livelihoods, lifestyles, and life stories. Currently he is research director of LivingMaps, a network of activists, artists, and academics developing a creative and critical approach to social mapping. He is also professor emeritus at the University of East London and a research fellow of the Young Foundation.
Wednesday, May 2, 7pm
Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington, D.C., began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. These tenants were creating a commons, taking a resource—housing—that had been used to extract profit from them and reshaping it as a resource that was collectively owned by them.
In Carving Out the Commons, Amanda Huron theorizes the practice of urban “commoning” through a close investigation of the city’s limited-equity housing cooperatives. Drawing on feminist and anticapitalist perspectives, Huron asks whether a commons can work in a city where land and other resources are scarce and how strangers who may not share a past or future come together to create and maintain commonly held spaces in the midst of capitalism. Arguing against the romanticization of the commons, she instead positions the urban commons as a pragmatic practice. Through the practice of commoning, she contends, we can learn to build communities to challenge capitalism’s totalizing claims over life.
“Through interviews and historical research, Amanda Huron gives us an in-depth description of the formation of a housing cooperative in Washington, D.C. in the ’70s and develops a theoretical structure enabling us to generalize this experience to other cities.” --Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation
“Amanda Huron illuminates new ways of thinking what social justice in the City can look like. Her writing is rigorous yet upholds the dignity of the people she studies and their attempts to stake out a right to their city. Carving Out the Commons will be a go-to both for academics and organizers in the coming years.” --James Tracy, author of Dispatches Against Displacement: Field Notes from San Francisco's Housing Wars
Nonstop Metropolis, the culminating volume in a trilogy of atlases, conveys innumerable unbound experiences of New York City through twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays. Bringing together the insights of dozens of experts—from linguists to music historians, ethnographers, urbanists, and environmental journalists—amplified by cartographers, artists, and photographers, it explores all five boroughs of New York City and parts of nearby New Jersey. We are invited to travel through Manhattan’s playgrounds, from polyglot Queens to many-faceted Brooklyn, and from the resilient Bronx to the mystical kung fu hip-hop mecca of Staten Island. The contributors to this exquisitely designed and gorgeously illustrated volume celebrate New York City’s unique vitality, its incubation of the avant-garde, and its literary history, but they also critique its racial and economic inequality, environmental impact, and erasure of its past. Nonstop Metropolis allows us to excavate New York’s buried layers, to scrutinize its political heft, and to discover the unexpected in one of the most iconic cities in the world. It is both a challenge and homage to how New Yorkers think of their city, and how the world sees this capitol of capitalism , culture, immigration, and more.
Contributors: Sheerly Avni, Gaiutra Bahadur, Marshall Berman, Joe Boyd, Will Butler, Garnette Cadogan, Thomas J. Campanella, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Teju Cole, Joel Dinerstein, Paul La Farge, Francisco Goldman. Margo Jefferson, Lucy R. Lippard, Barry Lopez, Valeria Luiselli, Suketu Mehta, Emily Raboteau, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Luc Sante, Heather Smith, Jonathan Tarleton, Astra Taylor, Alexandra T. Vazquez, Christina Zanfagna
Interviews with: Valerie Capers, Peter Coyote, Grandmaster Caz, Grandwizzard Theodore, Melle Mel, RZA
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