Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories (Paperback)
"Carlsson brings his unique combination of erudition, curiosity and passionate progressivism to a remarkably wide range of subjects—from the city’s profaned natural glories, to little-known episodes in its labor history, to a Homeric list of people, organizations and movements" —Gary Kamiya, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
Hidden San Francisco is a guidebook like no other. It’s a radical, alternative guidebook and history of San Francisco, complete with maps detailing walking and bike routes around the city.
San Francisco is an iconic and symbolic city. But only when you look beyond the picture-postcards of the Golden Gate Bridge and the quaint cable cars do you realize that the city's most interesting stories are not the Summer of Love, the Beats or even the latest gold rush in Silicon Valley.
Carlsson delves into the Bay Area's long prehistory, examining the region's geography and the lives of its inhabitants before the 1849 Gold Rush changed everything, setting in motion the clash between capital and labor that shaped the modern city. Structured around the four major themes of ecology, labor, transit and dissent, Chris Carlsson’s book peels back the layers of San Francisco's history to reveal a storied past: behind old walls and gleaming glass facades lurk former industries, secret music and poetry venues, forgotten terrorist bombings, and much more.
From the perspective of the students and secretaries, hippies and beatniks, longshoremen and waitresses, Hidden San Francisco uncovers dozens of overlooked, forgotten and buried histories that pulse through the streets and hills even today, inviting the reader to see themselves in the middle of the ongoing, everyday process of making history together.
About the Author
Chris Carlsson is a writer, San Francisco historian, tour guide, photographer, and occasional college professor. He conducts award-winning bicycle and walking tours of San Francisco history every year, and he is co-founder and co-director of Shaping San Francisco.
"San Francisco is long overdue for a history like this! Smart and accessible, this is a book that everyone who has left a piece of their heart in the city needs to read." —Barbara Berglund Sokolov, PhD, Historian, Presidio Trust
“Photos, maps, and self-guided tours of over one hundred of the most iconic, historic places. Beautifully crafted” – Bill Issel, Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University
"Vital for keeping us all connected to the wild, weird, and radical histories that make this place so special. Dig into it, it's full of gold" – Susan Stryker, director of Screaming Queens
"Every city needs and deserves a Chris Carlsson. San Francisco is fortunate to have him and Hidden San Francisco, not just because history from below is worth remembering, but more importantly because it is full of possibilities we should never forget for the present and future of The City."— Jon Christensen, UCLA