Bibliography of Oakland, California

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This is a bibliography of Oakland, California grouped by subject and listed by publication date. This list primarily includes commercially published, non-fiction works related to Oakland. Some books are included which cover the region or state but contain significant coverage of Oakland. Also included are some limited print run titles, such as booklets, commemorative volumes, self-published works, and government reports. Ephemera such as cookbooks, yearbooks, and catalogs are not included. Only selected sports-related books are included; the very many books about, e.g., individual athletes and seasons are for the most part outside the scope of this bibliography. Select works of fiction set partially or wholly in Oakland are also included.

General histories and descriptions[edit]

  • 1883 History of Alameda County, California, "including its geology, topography, soil and productions, together with a record of the Spanish Grants; the early history and settlement; the names of original Spanish and American pioneers; a full political history, comprising a tabular statement of officers of the County since its formation; separate histories of each of the townships, showing their progress. Also incidents of pioneer life, the raising of the Bear Flag of California, and biographical sketches of early and prominent people, and of its cities, towns, churches, schools, secret societies, etc." (Oakland: M. W. Wood; facsimile edition issued 1969 by the Holmes Book Co., Oakland).
  • 1897 Athens of the Pacific, George W. Calderwood (Oakland: G.T. Loofbourow). “Copies of this book will be mailed free to prospective home seekers on application to Secretary of Merchants’ Exchange or Board of Trade, Oakland, Cal.”
  • 1907 History of the State of California and Biographical Record of Oakland and Environs, Also Containing Biographies of Well-known Citizens of the Past and Present, in 2 vols., J. M. Guinn (Los Angeles: Historic Record, Co., 1907). "Few states of the Union have a more varied, a more interesting or a more instructive history than California, and few have done so little to preserve their history." This 2-volume set gives a general history of California and scores of biographies (with formal portraits) of prominent citizens of Oakland and environs of that day. A one-volume facsimile edition appeared in 1997.
  • 1911 Oakland California, Oakland Chamber of Commerce (San Francisco: Sunset Magazine Homeseekers' Bureau of Information). Promotional booklet published when Oakland's City Hall, the Hotel Oakland, and the Claremont Hotel were all under construction, before there were bridges on the Bay, describing Oakland as "on a magnificent harbor in what promises to be the center of the highest development of Anglo-Saxon civilization…"
  • 1932 The Romance of Oakland: A Story of the Growth and Development of Oakland and Alameda County, Roy C. Beekman (Oakland: Landis & Kelsey).
  • 1932 Oakland's Early History, Edson F. Adams (Oakland). A brief account by a descendant of one of the city's founding fathers. It includes excerpts from Mayor Horace Carpentier's April 29, 1854 address to the City Council, in which he advocates: free schools, peaceful relations with neighboring towns, 100% preservation of the native oaks, and the relocating of the State Capital to Oakland.
  • 1942 Oakland, A History, G. A. Cummings and E. S. Pladwell (Oakland: Grant D. Miller). It includes the beautiful 1936 National Park Service historical map of the East Bay along with line drawings of historic scenes and people.
  • 1961 The Beginnings of Oakland, A. U. C., Peter Thomas Conmy (Oakland: Oakland Public Library). "A.U.C." stands for ad urbe condita, Latin for "from the founding of the city" (a quote from Livy). It is an account of the city's early history, especially the unfolding legal status of land claims from the Peraltas on. It includes a concise summary of famous Oaklanders.
  • 1982 Oakland, the Story of a City, Beth Bagwell (Novato: Presidio Press [maroon cover]; reprinted 1994, Oakland: Oakland Heritage Alliance [green cover]). Bagwell was the first president of the OHA. See also the 2012 revised ed. below.
  • 2004 Blues City: A Walk in Oakland, Ishmael Reed (New York: Crown). Oakland's history up to Jerry Brown's mayoral tenure, with special attention to Reed's perspective as an African American.
  • 2005 Oakland's Neighborhoods, compiled by Erika Mailman (Oakland: Mailman Press). A large collection of poems and essays by Oakland residents, focused on the city's neighborhoods in the past and present.
  • 2006 Oakland: The Soul of the City Next Door (GrassRoutes Travel Guide), Serena Bartlett, illustrated by Daniel Ling (Oakland, CA: GrassRoutes Travel).
  • 2009 Oakland & Berkeley: Urban Eco-Travel, Serena Bartlett (GrassRoutes Travel / Sasquatch Books).
  • 2010 America's ‘Healthiest" City’: A History of Early Oakland, California, Deanne Lamont (Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller). “In the decades between the Civil War and the great 1906 earthquake, Oakland was convincingly advertised as America’s healthiest city.”
  • 2012 Oakland, the Story of a City, Beth Bagwell, 2nd ed., with a new afterword, "The City in a New Century," by Erika Mailman (Oakland: Oakland Heritage Alliance).

See also various of the Arcadia "Images of America" titles below.

Corporate/Chamber of Commerce Productions (typically with profiles of sponsoring businesses printed as a final section):

  • 1896 The Illustrated Directory of Oakland, California (Oakland). Detailed views of downtown business blocks with reference to owners, occupants, professions, and trades; and a brief history of the city. Some coverage of Alameda and Berkeley.
  • 1893 Oakland, its Environs and Advantages, a Description of the Most Attractive Suburban Town in America, "The Embowered Town," (San Francisco).
  • 1893 Views of Oakland, California (Oakland: Pacific Press Publishing Company). “A bird’s-eye view of the city, views of prominent business blocks, hotels, city and county buildings, public schools, colleges, churches, residences, etc.; and a description of Oakland by the president of the Board of Trade.” From a time when (mostly now gone) landmark buildings of a past era were new and magnificent.
  • 1911 Greater Oakland, Evarts Blake (Oakland: Pacific Publishing Co.). Fully 455 pages of description, ads, photos, and a large foldout map.
  • 1925 Who Made Oakland?, Florence B. Crocker (Oakland: Dalton). "And a great voice from the Heavens said: `God made Oakland and all that is glorious herein.' Oakland is the choicest gift God ever gave to man.'" It includes the 1924 Bekins fold-out street map of Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, and Piedmont.
  • 1981 Oakland, Hub of the West, David Weber (Tulsa: Continental Heritage Press). Exceptionally well presented: extensive, detailed historical essays with a striking selection of historical photographs.
  • 1988 Alameda County, California, Ruth Hendricks Willard (Northridge: Windsor Publications).
  • 1996 Oakland Welcomes the World, Mary Ellen Butler (Montgomery: Community Communications).
  • 2000 The Spirit of Oakland: An Anthology, Abby Wasserman and Diane Curry (Carlsbad, CA: Heritage Media). It includes essays by a collection of local authors; ambitious in scope, especially in attention to individual neighborhoods.
  • 2002 Oakland: Portrait of Progress, Pam Baker (Montgomery: Community Communications).
  • 2005 Imagine: A Pictorial Celebration Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Oakland: Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce).

Specialized histories and descriptions[edit]

  • 1885 Catalogue of the Oakland Free Public Library, Charles L. Miel (Oakland: Tribune Publishing Co.).
  • 1906 How Oakland Aided Her Sister City, Harris Bishop (Oakland: Oakland Relief Committee). A souvenir album from the 1906 earthquake and fire, when Oakland's 60,000 residents took in 200,000 refugees from San Francisco.
  • 1931 Fourscore Years: a History of Mills College, Rosalind A. Keep (Oakland: Mills College). Keep was the daughter of Professor Josiah Keep, teacher of astronomy and geology and close friend of President Susan Tolman Mills.
  • 1934 Port of Oakland, ed. DeWitt Jones, George Ebey, Herbert Shears, Raymond Barry, and Charles F. Burns (Oakland: Oakland Board of Park Commissioners).
  • 1946 U. S. Naval Hospital Oakland California, Louise Dowlen, Dorothy Thompson and Charles Haynes (Oakland: Welfare and Recreation Department). A commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital.
  • 1955 A History of the Fred Finch Children's Home: Oldest Methodist Home for Children in California, 1891-1955, Reginald R. Stuart & Grace D. Stuart (Oakland: Fred Finch Children's Home).
  • 1967 Trees and Shrubs of Mills College, Baki Kasapligil (Oakland: Mills College). An exhaustive checklist with locator map.
  • 1971 The Peraltas, Pearl Randolph Fibel (Oakland: Peralta Hospital). Published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Spanish land grant of Rancho San Antonio to Luis Maria Peralta, which included all of what became Oakland (and much of the rest of the East Bay).
  • 1974 Heinold's First and Last Chance: Jack London's Rendezvous, Otha Donner Wearin. "Built over a century ago [1883] from the remains of an old whaling ship and first used as a bunk house for the men working the oyster beds off the east shore of San Francisco Bay and located at the foot of Webster Street on the waterfront of Oakland, California, stands a small one-story shack of a building, unique in construction and famous for memories." And there it still stands, the Last Chance Saloon.
  • 1975 History of Oakland, California Post Office 1851-1975, Rod Mabe (Oakland: Oakland Post Office).
  • 1978 People Are for the Birds, Paul Covel (Oakland: Western Interpretive Press). On the birds of Lake Merritt, by a leading naturalist.
  • 1979 Oakland 1979, City of Oakland Office of Community Development (Oakland: City of Oakland). Pictures and quotes from the flatland Community Development neighborhoods.
  • 1984 A Vision Achieved: Fifty Years of East Bay Regional Park District, Mimi Stein.
  • 1990 Oakland Ballet: The First 25 Years, William Huck (San Francisco: San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum). Sadly, there were not to be a second 25 years—the Ballet closed up shop for good in 2006.
  • 1991 Can Physicians Manage the Quality and Costs of Health Care? The Story of the Permanente Medical Group, John G. Smillie (New York: McGraw-Hill).
  • 1991 The Bay Area at War: How We Reacted to the Persian Gulf Crisis, edited by Eric Newton and Roger Rapoport (Oakland: Oakland Tribune and Berkeley: Heyday Books).
  • 1992 Oakland's Christmas Pageant, 1919 - 1987, ed. Aileen Moffitt. A full history of the Pageant and the amazing 68-year tenure of Miss Louise Jorgensen, the "Spirit of Christmas."
  • 1992 Comrades of Lov II, George Peter Vasille (New York: Vantage Press). A private reminiscence of a Soviet ship's stay in Oakland during WW II.
  • 1992 An Ensign to the Nations: History of the Oakland Stake, Evelyn Candland (Oakland: Oakland California Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
  • 1992 Two Men at the Helm': The First 100 Years of Crowley Maritime Corporation, 1892-1992, Jean Gilbertson (Oakland: Crowley Maritime).
  • 1993 The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay During World War II, Marilynn S. Johnson (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press). A social and political history of Oakland and the East Bay as it was transformed by wartime industry and the influx of domestic migrants.
  • 1993 Guide to East Bay Creeks, Christopher M. Richard, ed. (Oakland: The Oakland Museum). Creek hydrology & geology; guided tours of selected creeks; conservation issues, and a fabulous map of past and present waterways; plus a good summary of the discovery and ongoing controversy over the naming of the Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss also known as Salmo iridia, first identified in a creek in the Oakland Hills. Try this online watershed locator.
  • 1994 The Story of Moore Dry Dock Company, James R Moore (Sausalito: Windgate Press). Illustrated history of the Oakland-based shipyard.
  • 1994 Operation Pet Rescue: Animal Survivors of the Oakland, California Firestorm, Gregory N. Zompolis (Exeter, NH: J. N. Townsend).
  • 1997 Real Heat: Gender and Race in the Urban Fire Service, Carol Chetkovich (New Brunswick: Rutgers). Reflections and analysis of the Oakland Fire Department class of 1-91; from the author's dissertation.
  • 1997 Sights and Sounds: Essays in Celebration of West Oakland, Mary Praetzellis and Suzanne Stewart, eds. (Rohnert Park: Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University Academic Foundation; prepared for California Department of Transportation, District 4). One of the several mitigation projects from the Cypress Structure replacement project.
  • 1998 The Oakland Roadster Show: 50 Years of Hot Rods and Customs, Andy Southard and Dain Gingerelli (Osceola WI: MBI). The granddaddy of roadster shows.
  • 1999 Fire in Oakland, California: Billion-Dollar Blaze, Carmen Bredeson (Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers).
  • 2000 Pacific Gateway: An Illustrated History of the Port of Oakland, Woodruff Minor (Oakland: Port of Oakland). Excellent photos, maps, and documentation of Oakland's Port and Airport. Produced as an impact-mitigation measure for the demolition of the Grove Street Pier transit shed.
  • 2000 Fight or Be Slaves: The History of the Oakland-East Bay Labor Movement, Albert Vetere Lannon (University Press of America). The title is a quote from C. L. Dellums, Oakland's vice president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
  • 2000 A Parochial and Institutional History of the Diocese of Oakland, 1962–1972 and Two Centuries of Background, Peter Thomas Conmy (Saint Francis Historical Society).
  • 2001 We are the Church: A History of the Diocese of Oakland, Jeffrey M. Burns and Mary Carmen Batiza (Strasbourg, France: Éditions du Signe). A history of the Roman Catholic Community of Oakland and surrounds.
  • 2003 Storybook Strings: 50 Years of Puppetry at Children's Fairyland's Storybook Puppet Theater, Randal J. Metz (Oakland: Rappid Rabbit Publishing). See also the related 2011 title below.
  • 2003 Keep the Ball Rolling: A Pictorial History of Claremont Country Club, 1903-2003, J. Parry Wagener (Donning Co. Pub.).
  • 2003 The Bad City in the Good War: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego, Roger W. Lotchin (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press).
  • 2003 History of Holy Names College, Ethel Mary Tinnemann, snjm (Bloomington: Xlibris).
  • 2004 Working Fire: The Making of an Accidental Fireman, Zac Unger (New York: Penguin).
  • 2004 Old School, Terrence Green (Philadelphia: Xlibris). Life and work at the Oakland Police Department in the 1960s and '70s.
  • 2006 Temescal Legacies: Narratives of Change from a North Oakland Neighborhood, Jeff Norman (Oakland: Shared Ground).
  • 2006 Seven Fires: The Urban Infernos That Reshaped America, Peter Charles Hoffer (New York: PublicAffairs). Boston, 1760; Pittsburgh, 1845; Chicago, 1871; Baltimore, 1904; Detroit, 1967; Oakland,1991; and New York, 2001; but surely the major Southern California fires of recent years could be added to the tale.
  • 2006 Shorthanded: The Untold Story Of The Seals, Hockey's Most Colorful Team, Brad Kurtzberg (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse).
  • 2007 Oakland's Laurel District, Dennis Evanosky (Alameda: Stellar Media Group).
  • 2007 Mountain View Cemetery, Dennis Evanosky (Alameda: Stellar Media Group), number two in Evanosky's "History is All Around Us" series. Fully 142 years after the founding of Mountain View Cemetery, we now have this treasure-trove of facts, images, history, trivia, and short review of the evolving American cemetery. Profusely illustrated with pictures and locator maps, including many then-and-now juxtapositions. Especially strong on Civil War veterans and famous local personages.
  • 2010 The Oakland Army Base: An Oral History, Martin Meeker, ed. (Berkeley: The Bancroft Library). Jointly sponsored by the City of Oakland and the Port of Oakland, and produced by the Regional Oral History Project at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.
  • 2011 Creating a Fairyland: 60 Years of Magic at Children's Fairyland USA, Randal Metz and Tony Jonick (Oakland: Rappid Rabbit Publishing). See also the related 2003 title above.
  • 2012 The Rotary Club of Oakland —A Century of Service and Friendship: The Story of the Third Oldest Rotary Club in the World, Linda Parker Hamilton.

Books about the Hells Angels motorcycle club, founded in 1948 in San Bernardino, California and expanded in Oakland since 1957 by Ralph "Sonny" Barger; note that the group's own usage does not include an apostrophe in its name:

  • 1967 Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, Hunter S. Thompson (New York: Random House).
  • 1978 A Wayward Angel: The Fully Story of the Hells Angels by the Former Vice-President of the Oakland Chapter, George Wethern and Vincent Colnett (New York: Richard Marek Publishers).
  • 2001 Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman, and Ralph "Sonny" Barger (San Francisco: Harper Perennial).

Minority communities[edit]

  • 1973 This Far By Faith: A Study of Historical Backgrounds and the First Fifty Years of the Allen Temple Baptist Church, J. Alfred Smith (Oakland: Color Art Press).
  • 1976 Free to Choose: The Jews of Oakland, Fred Rosenbaum (Berkeley: The Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum).
  • 1977 The Reemergence of an Inner City: The Pivot of Chinese Settlement in the East Bay Region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Willard T. Chow (San Francisco: R & E Research Associates). A revision of the author's 1974 U.C. Berkeley thesis.
  • 1978 The Ohlone Way: Indian life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area, Malcolm Margolin, illus. by Michael Harney (Berkeley: Heyday Books; 25th Anniversary Ed. with a new Afterword, 2002). Quite regional in scope, but too important in subject matter and in the recent history of Native American studies to not include here.
  • 1983 Effective Urban Church Ministry: Based on Case Study of Allen Temple Baptist Church, G. Willis Bennett (Nashville: Broadman Press).
  • 1989 Visions Toward Tomorrow: The History of the East Bay Afro-American Community, 1852-1977, Lawrence P. Crouchett, Lonnie G. Bunch III, and Martha Kendall Winnacker (Oakland: Northern California Center for Afro-American History and Life).
  • 1992 The Unsung Heart of Black America: A Middle-class Church At Midcentury, Dona L. Irvin (Columbia, MO: Univ. Of Missouri Press). Portraits of 40 members of Downs Memorial United Methodist Church quietly making a difference in their community.
  • 1996 Abiding Courage: African American Migrant Women and the East Bay Community, Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo (Chapel Hill: U. of North Carolina Press).
  • 2000 Hometown Chinatown: History of Oakland's Chinese Community, L. Eva Armentrout Ma (New York: Garland Publishing). A greatly expanded version of The Chinese of Oakland: Unsung Builders by Eve Armentrout Ma and Jeong Huei Ma, ed. Forrest Gok and the Oakland Chinese History Research Committee, 1982.
  • 2002 Urban Voices: The Bay Area American Indian Community, Community History Project, Intertribal Friendship House, Oakland, Susan Lobo ed. (Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press).
  • 2003 Soul on Bikes: The East Bay Dragons MC and Black Biker Set, Tobie Gene Levingston, with Keith and Kent Zimmerman (St. Paul, MN: Motorbikes International Publishing). The history of the Oakland-based African-American Motorcycle Club.
  • 2005 Beyond Christianity: African Americans in a New Thought Church, Darnise C. Martin (New York University Press). Draws on ethnographic work in a Religious Science church in Oakland, California, to illuminate the ways a group of African Americans has adapted a religion typically thought of as white.

Some of the many books about the Black Panthers, founded in Oakland in 1966 (see also the “Biographies and autobiographies” section below):

  • 1997 Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale (Baltimore: Black Classic Press).
  • 1998 The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, Charles E. Jones (Baltimore: Black Classic Press).
  • 2002 The Black Panthers Speak, ed. Philip S. Foner (Da Capo Press, reprint of 2nd ed.). A collection of original material from the mid-1960s movement in Oakland.
  • 2006 Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making And Unmaking of the Black Panther Party, Curtis J. Austin (U. of Arkansas Press). A study of the rise and fall of the Panthers, focusing on its internal debates over strategy.
  • 2010 Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California, Donna Murch (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press).
  • 2012 The Sky's the Limit: People v. Newton: The REAL Trial of the 20th Century?, Lise Pearlman, (Berkeley: Regent Press Printers & Publishers).

Biographies and autobiographies[edit]

  • 1917 About "The Hights" at Oakland, California, Juanita Miller (Oakland: Chas. P. MacLafferty).
  • 1931 My Own Story, John L. Davie (Oakland: Post-Enquirer Publishing). Autobiography of the long-serving former mayor; revised by Jack Herzberg and reissued 1988 as His Honor, The Buckaroo (Reno: Publisher Jack Herzberg).
  • 1937 Everybody's Autobiography, Gertrude Stein (New York: Random House). Brief mention of Oakland, from the woman who coined the phrase, "There's no there there".
  • 1938 Dr. Samuel Merritt, His Life and Achievements, Henning Koford (Oakland).
  • 1972 Celebrities At Your Doorstep, Leonard, H. Verbarg (n.p.: Alameda County Historical Society). A compilation of newspaper columns profiling Oakland and East Bay personalities.
  • 1964 Alex Dunsmuir's Dilemma, James Audain (Victoria, B.C.: Sunnyland Publishing). Audain is the great-nephew of local figure Dunsmuir, of the Dunsmuir House.
  • 1973 Ina Coolbrith, Librarian and Laureate of California, Josephine DeWitt Rhodehamel and Raymund Francis Wood (Provo: BYU Press). How a niece of Joseph Smith's became Oakland's first librarian and California's first Poet Laureate.
  • 1982 Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith, George Herbert Hildebrand (San Diego: Howell-North Books). The story of "Borax" Smith, of Oakland's Realty Syndicate, Key Route, and Arbor Villa (his expansive mansion) fame.
  • 1990 Six Gold Stars Vol. 1: Thirty Years of Fighting Sin & High Crime with Oakland's Favorite Cop, Jean Mackellar, ed. (Berkeley: Glen Press).
  • 1990 Jack London and His Daughters, Joan London (Berkeley: Heyday Books).
  • 1992 The Water King: Anthony Chabot, His Life & Times, Sherwood D. Burgess (Davis, CA: Panorama West Publishing).
  • 1994 The Calvin Simmons Story, Rina Evelyn Wolfe (Berkeley: Muse Wood Press).
  • 1998 One Step From the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland, Gayle B. Montgomery and James W. Johnson (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif.). All about our former Senate Majority Leader, newspaper publisher, failed gubernatorial and presidential aspirant, and—in the end—dismal suicide.
  • 1999 Jack London: A Life, Alex Kershaw (New York: St. Martin's Griffin).
  • 1999 Prophet of the Parks: The Story of William Penn Mott, Mary Ellen Butler (Ashburn, VA: The National Recreation and Park Association). The story of Oakland's former parks superintendent who went on to manage the East Bay Regional Park District, direct the California Parks and Recreation Department, and eventually direct the National Park Service.
  • 2000 Lying Down With the Lions: A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power, Ronald Dellums and H. Lee Halterman (Boston: Beacon Press). The story of Dellums' 27 years as Congressman for California's 9th District, before entering the halls of power back on the streets of Oakland.
  • 2000 Miner, Preacher, Doctor, Teacher: Stories of an Odyssey from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Ketchikan, Alaska, to a Pioneering Medical Career in Oakland, California, Frederic M. Loomis, compiled by Lee Sims (Walnut Creek: Hardscratch Press). Loomis was Sims' grandfather.
  • 2001 Yellow Journalist: Dispatches from Asian America, William Wong (Philadelphia: Temple).
  • 2001 At The Cross: The Napoleon Kaufman Story, Napoleon Kaufman & Jimmie Hand (San Ramon: CWC Publishing).
  • 2003 The Dragon and the Tiger, Vol. 1: The Birth of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, the Oakland Years, Greglon Lee and Sid Campbell (Berkeley: Frog, Ltd.). Bruce Lee lived in Oakland and developed much of his early technique in houses in the Grand Lake and Maxwell Park neighborhoods. Vol. 2 appeared in 2005, and then Remembering the Master: Bruce Lee, James Yimm Lee and the Creation of Jeet Kune Do in 2006.
  • 2004 On the Jericho Road: A Memoir of Racial Justice, Social Action and Prophetic Ministry, J. Alfred Smith Sr. with Harry Louis Williams II (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press). Smith's life and work, especially his long and fruitful tenure at the Allen Temple Baptist Church (1971–2007).
  • 2004 The Jerry Brown Reader, ed. Erik Bucy (Berkeley: Berkeley Hills Books). It includes speeches, essays, interviews, and media profiles up through his residence and mayoral tenure in Oakland.
  • 2005 The Promise: How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of First Graders to College, Oral Lee Brown, with Caille Millner (New York: Doubleday).
  • 2006 Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford, Jessica Mitford, ed. Peter Y. Sussman (New York: Knopf). Our naturalized muckraking journalist, best known for her exposé of the funeral industry, The American Way of Death, lived in Oakland up to her own death in 1996.
  • 2008 Regards from the Dragon: Oakland, George Lee and David Tadman (Los Angeles: Empire Books). Another account of Bruce Lee’s time in Oakland.
  • 2008 BeatCop: A True and Fascinating Journey into the Perilous Career of a Police Officer., Jack Lundquist, Jr. (N.P., Vegasjacklv.com).
  • 2009 ViceCop: A Captivating Journey into the Life and World of a Vice Cop., Jack Lundquist, Jr. (N.P., Vegasjacklv.com). Sequel to BeatCop.
  • 2009 Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, Novella Carpenter (New York: Penguin). Carpenter's experiences with her 28th St. urban farm led to her writing, with Willow Rosenthal, The Essential Urban Farmer (2011, New York: Penguin).
  • 2010 Charles Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius (Walker & Company).

There are many books by and/or about leaders of the Black Panthers, such as:

  • 1976 Angela Davis: An Autobiography (New York: Bantam).
  • 1978 A Lonely Rage: the Autobiography Of Bobby Seale, Bobby Seale (New York: Times Books).
  • 1994 The Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America, Hugh Pearson (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley).
  • 1998 The Angela Y. Davis Reader, ed. Joy James (Blackwell Pub.).

Sociological studies and reflections; crimes[edit]

  • 1974 Children of the Great Depression: Social Change in Life Experience, Glen H. Elder (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press; 25th Anniversary Edition with an additional chapter, 1998, Boulder: Westview Press). A longitudinal study of 167 individuals born in Oakland in 1920-21.
  • 1979 Bump City: Winners and Losers in Oakland, John Krich, with photographs by Dorothea Lange (Berkeley: City Miner Books).
  • 1981 The Serious Business of Growing Up: A Study of Children's Lives Outside School, Elliott A. Medrich (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press).
  • 1989 Two to Four from 9 to 5: The Adventures of a Daycare Provider, Joan Roemer as told to Barbara Austin (Grand Rapids: Harper Perennial). Seventy-two vignettes of life in a home-based Oakland day care.
  • 1995 Drive-By, Gary Rivlin (New York: Henry Holt). A reporter's-eye account of the people, events, and setting that led up to one mid-`90s drive-by gang shooting.
  • 1997 The Last Resort: Scenes from a Transient Hotel, Aggie Max (San Francisco: Chronicle Books).
  • 2001 Unmarried Parents, Fragile Families: New Evidence from Oakland, Maureen Rosamond Waller (Public Policy Institute of California).
  • 2003 American Babylon: Race, Power, and the Struggle for the Postwar City in California, Robert O. Self, Susan Erik Lape, and Gary Gerstle (Princeton: Princeton University Press).
  • 2003 Homegirls in the Public Sphere, Marie "Keta" Miranda (Univ. of Texas Press). An ethnographic study of Chicana gang members in the Fruitvale community of Oakland, contrasting public and private perceptions.
  • 2003 Safe Harbor: Refugee Stories from Oakland, Gary Turchin.
  • 2001 Yellow Journalist: Dispatches from Asian America, William Wong (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press). A collection of essays by the former Oakland Tribune columnist.
  • 2004 No There There: Race, Class, and the Struggle for Political Community in Oakland, Chris Rhomberg and Roger Nichols (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press).
  • 2010 Presumed Dead: A True Life Murder Mystery, Henry Lee (Berkeley). A San Francisco Chronicle reporter’s account of the 2006 murder of Russian-born physician and Oakland resident Nina Sharanova Reiser.
  • 2011 Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, Ying Ma (Seattle: CreateSpace). An immigrant from China navigates racial animosities and urban criminality in Oakland.
  • 2012 Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist, Thomas Peele, (New York City: Random House). An account of the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncy Bailey and what it revealed about the Bey family and its enterprise, Your Black Muslim Bakery.

Government, education, and politics[edit]

  • 1968 Oakland's Not for Burning, Amory Bradford (New York: McKay). Mr. Bradford came from Washington in 1965 to help the city avoid riots as had occurred in Watts.
  • 1971 Making Schools Work; Strategies for Changing Education, Marcus Foster (Philadelphia: Westerminster Press).
  • 1998 Bay Cities and Water Politics: The Battle for Resources in Boston and Oakland, Sarah S. Elkind (University of Kansas Press). A comparison of 19th-century waterfront development in the two cities.
  • 1998 The Real Ebonics Debate: Power, Language, and the Education of African-American Children, Theresa Perry and Lisa Delpit (Boston: Beacon Press).
  • 1999 Some Buildings Just Can't Dance, R. S. Olson, R. A. Olson, and V. T. Gawronski (JAI Press). Examines Oakland's public policy responses to buildings damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
  • 2006 Oakland, California: Towards a Sustainable City, Moses Durst (Bloomington, Indiana: Authorhouse).
  • 2006 A Different View of Urban Schools: Civil Rights, Critical Race Theory, and Unexplored Realities, Kitty Kelly Epstein (N.Y.: Peter Lang Publishing).
  • 2008 Hugging the Middle: How Teachers Teach in an Era of Testing and Accountability, Larry Cuban (N.Y.: Teachers College Press). Examines the effects of contemporary testing in the Oakland, Arlington, and Denver school districts.
  • 2009 Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal’s Triumph in the Inner City, Ben Chavis with Carey Blakely (New York: New American Library). An account of Chavis’ tenure at the American Indian Public Charter School (AIPCS), as recounted to a former AIPCS teacher.
  • 2012 Organizing to Change a City Kitty Kelly Epstein. New York: Peter Lang Publishers. Analyzes the period from 2005 to 2011 when Oakland adopted policies from a large scale participatory policy-making process; adopted ranked-choice voting, and elected two self-proclaimed progressive mayors. Analyzes events in relation to other cities and in relation to urban studies theorizing.

Books from the Oakland Project at U.C. Berkeley, directed by Aaron Wildavsky (all are Berkeley: University of California Press unless otherwise noted):

  • 1971 The Politics of City Revenue, Arnold J. Meltsner. A detailed analysis of pre-Proposition 13 Oakland finances.
  • 1972 Power Structure and Urban Policy: Who Rules in Oakland?, Edward C. Hayes (New York: McGraw-Hill). "[T]he city's medium and large businessmen have reaped the major and continuing benefits of local policy, while the nonrich have reaped a harvest of more crowded housing, forced removal...higher taxes, and minimum public services....This study has shown the extent to which a very small set of persons and interests can find real expression in the current political organs of a city."
  • 1973 Implementation: How Great Expectations in Washington are Dashed in Oakland: Or Why It's Amazing That Federal Programs Work at All, This Being the Saga of the Economic Development Administration As Told by Two Sympathetic Observers Who Seek to Build Morals on Ruined Hopes, Aaron. B. Wildavsky and Jeffrey L. Pressman (expanded 2nd ed., 1979; 3rd ed., 1984). Examines the effects of the federal government's Economic Development Administration.
  • 1975 Urban Outcomes: Schools, Streets and Libraries, Frank S. Levy, Arnold Meltsner, and Aaron Wildavsky.
  • 1975 Federal Programs & City Politics : The Dynamics of the Aid Process in Oakland, Jeffrey L. Pressman.
  • 1978 Personnel Policy in the City: The Politics of Jobs in Oakland, California, Frank J. Thompson.
  • 1978 Marcus Foster and the Oakland Public Schools: Leadership in an Urban Bureaucracy, Jesse J. McCorry.
  • 1986 Municipal Coping Strategies: As Soon as the Dust Settles, Jay D. Starling (Beverly Hills: Sage). A study of municipal decision-making.

Schoolbooks and children's books[edit]

  • 1924 The Story of Rancho San Antonio: A Brief History of the East San Francisco Bay District From the Time the Shell Mounds Were Forming to the Present, Daisy Williamson De Veer (Oakland: Claremont Press). De Veer was the Curator of Education at the Oakland Museum.
  • 1930 Oakland: A Story for Children, Regina Kent, et al. (Oakland: Oakland Board of Education).
  • 1959 Land of the Oaks, James Harlow (Oakland: Board of Education). "A study of the history and government of Oakland and Alameda County, prepared for use in the Oakland Public Schools as a partial fulfillment of the California state law requiring the teaching of state and local government."
  • 1968 Heritage of Oakland, Oakland Public Schools. Not as detailed as Land of the Oaks, but very nicely designed and illustrated.
  • 1969 Oakland, the Mellow City, Hoover Jr. Hi. School (Oakland: Junior League of Oakland). Oakland's past and then-present, depicted in student drawing and poems.
  • 1972 Mark Will Ward: A Black Family in the City, Bob & Lynne Fitch, ed. Paul J. Deegan (Mankato, Minnesota: Amecus St.). Black family life in North Oakland, through the eyes of a schoolboy.
  • 1974 Dr. Marcus A. Foster: A Man for All People, Dorothy Hallum (Hayward: Alameda County School Dept.).
  • 1983 Oakland A to Z, or Tripping Around Oakland, a Coloring Book Guide to Exploring the City of Oakland, June Naboisek, illustrations by Nancy Gorrell (Berkeley: Pandora Press).
  • 2008 Randolph in Oakland, Erika Mailman (North Carolina: Lulu)

Buildings, parks, and architecture[edit]

  • 1934(?) Oakland Parks and Playgrounds, ed. DeWitt Jones, George Ebey, Herbert Shears, Raymond Barry, and Charles F. Burns (Oakland: Oakland Parks and Recreation Department).
  • 1964 The Improvement Era: Oakland Temple issue, Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Magazine-format depiction of the Oakland Temple and an article by Harold W. Burton, its chief architect.
  • 1970 The Ultimate Victorians of the Continental Side of San Francisco Bay, Elinor Richey (Berkeley: Howell-North Books).
  • 1971 East of These Golden Shores: Architecture of the Earlier Days in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, David Bohn (Junior League of Oakland and Scrimshaw Press).
  • 1979 The Buildings of Oakland, Robert Bernhardi (Oakland: Forest Hill Press).
  • 1979 East Bay Heritage: A Potpourri of Living History, Mark A. Wilson (San Francisco: A California Living Book). A full guide to East Bay architectural history from 1800 to 1950, with narrated walking tours (eight of Oakland).
  • 1978 Rehab Right: How to Rehabilitate Your Oakland House without Sacrificing Architectural Assets, Helaine Kaplan Prentice and Blair Prentice (Oakland: City of Oakland Planning Department). Three editions were published by City of Oakland, followed by this 1987 revision, Rehab Right: How to Realize the Full Value of Your Old House (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press).
  • 1981 The Oakland Paramount, Susannah Harris Stone (Oakland: Oakland Paramount Theatre; reprinted 2002). Before & behind the scenes looks at the Paramount Theatre, opened in 1931 and reopened in 1973.
  • 1987 Architecture and Urban Design in Oakland: an Annotated Bibliography, Robert Dobruskin (Berkeley: University-Oakland Metropolitan Forum).
  • 1989 The Oakland Museum: A Gift of Architecture, Warren Radford, Kevin Roche, Dan Kiley, Geraldine Knight Scott and Allan Temko (Oakland: Oakland Museum Association).
  • 1996 Through These Doors: Discovering Oakland at Preservation Park, Helaine Kaplan Prentice, Andrew Brubaker and Betty Marvin (Oakland: Oakland Redevelopment Agency). About Preservation Park.
  • 2001 The Peraltas and Their Houses, J. N. Bowman (Oakland: Alameda County Historical Society). A reprint of a 1951 article in the California Historical Society Quarterly. It includes line drawings and placement maps.
  • 2011 Secret Stairs: East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland, Charles Fleming (Solana Beach, CA: Santa Monica Press).
  • 2011 Oakland Landmarks: An Artistic Portrayal of History, Annalee Allen and Heidi Wyckoff (Oakland: oaklandlandmarks.com). Watercolor depictions and historical descriptions of 35 Oakland architectural landmarks.
  • 2012 The Cathedral of Christ the Light: The Making of a 21st Century Cathedral, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, Karla Britton, et al. (Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz). An architectural account of Craig W. Hartman's design for the Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, completed in 2008.

Passenger railways and ferries[edit]

  • 1961 Suburban Railway: Along the East Shore of San Francisco Bay, Earle C. Hanson (San Marino: Pacific Railroad Publications).
  • 1967 BART at Mid-Point: San Francisco’s Bold New Rapid Transit Project, Harre W. Demoro (Los Angeles: Interurbans).
  • 1972 BART: Off and Running, Joseph A. Strapac (Burlingame: Chatham Publishing).
  • 1977 Interurban Railways of the Bay Area, Paul C. Trimble (Fresno: Valley Publishers).
  • 1977 Red Trains in the East Bay: The History of the Southern Pacific Transbay Train & Ferry System (Interurban Specials 65), Robert Ford (Glendale: Interurbans). "The SP never made a dime on its investment. But for three decades the red trains rolled and the ferries steamed, giving the customers one of the finest commutes anywhere."
  • 1978 Key System Album, Jim Walker (Glendale: Interubans). Interurbans Press Special No. 68.
  • 1980 Red Trains Remembered, Robert S. Ford (Glendale: Interurbans). Interurbans Press Special No. 75.
  • 1985 The Key Route: Transbay Commuting by Train and Ferry, Harre W. Demorro (Glendale: Interurban Press).
  • 1989 From Bullets to BART, William Middleton (Chicago: Central Electric Railfan’s Association).
  • 1993 BART Past and Future: A Pictorial Review with Highlights of History, Drle C. Hanson (Walnut Creek: Bay Area Railroadiana).
  • 1996 Danville Branch of the Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway (Danville: Museum of the San Ramon Valley).
  • 1999 Electric Railways Around San Francisco Bay, Donald Duke (San Mariano: Golden West Books).
  • 2006 Key System Gallery, James A. Harrison (Shade Tree Books). "A photographic visit to the Trans-Bay and City Streetcar Lines of the Key System and its Affiliated Street Railways in Oakland, Berkeley and East Bay cities, 1902-1958."
  • 2007 Key System Streetcars, Vernon J. Sappers (Signature Press).
  • 2010 Bay Area Rail Transit Album, Vol. 1: BART, Joe Mendoza (CreateSpace). Color photographs and schematic cross sections of all 43 stations, plus many historic pictures and descriptions of America’s first automated mass transit system.

See also various of the Arcadia "Images of America" titles below.

See also several issues of Western Railroader (San Mateo, CA), including: - "Key System-East Bay Transit." (#11, v. 1, no. 11, September 1938) - "Key System Roster; East Bay Transit Roster" (#41, v. 4, no. 7, June 1941) - "East Shore and Suburban Railway." (#217, v. 21, no. 1, November 1957) - "Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward's Electric Railway" (#223, v. 21, no. 7, May 1958) - “Early Day Trolleys of the East Bay,” (#?, v. 22, no. 4; February 1959) - "Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway" (#382, v. 34, no. 12, December 1971).

Photographic essays and art books[edit]

  • 1894 Views of Oakland California (N.P., Pacific Press Publishing Company). "Official Souvenir of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Encampment, G.A.R. - Department of California - Held at Oakland, California, April 23–28, 1894 - including Views of Oakland and a Description of the City." ("G.A.R." was the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal group for Union veterans of the Civil War.)
  • 1972 Oakland's Image, Lois Rather (Oakland: The Rather Press). Limited edition art book.
  • 1976 Oakland: A Mediterranean City, Roger Urban. Oakland's climate—the mildest in the nation, and shared with only central Chile, southwestern Australia, the South African Cape, and the Mediterranean basin itself—shapes its natural and man-made setting in beautiful ways. If only the Gondolas had been plying Lake Merritt at the time.
  • 1983 The Carousel Animal, Tobin Fraley, photography by Gary Sinick (Berkeley: Zephyr Press). The work of Oakland's Tobin Fraley Studios
  • 1991 Voyage, Paula Blasier, photographs by Terrence McCarthy (n.p.: Bramalea Pacific). The saga of creating Richard Deutsch's massive garden sculpture at 1111 Broadway out of two 16-ton ship propellers.
  • 1993 Bay Area Blues, Lee Hildebrand and Michelle Vignes (San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks). From Eli Mile High to Cozy Den, from Bob Geddins to Sonny Rhodes to Beverly Stovall (on the cover), this book documents the Oakland Blues scene in the early `80s. A 1989 version was published in French, with Vignes' photographs and a text by Francis Hofstein.
  • 1995 Oakland Rhapsody, Richard Nagler and Ishmael Reed (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books). Bits of Oakland's past and present in juxtapositions of people and settings.
  • 1997 Going Out in Style: The Architecture of Eternity, Douglas Keister (New York: Facts on File). Surveys American cemeteries generally but features many examples from Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery, including the front cover and title page.
  • 1999 Contact Sheet 101: South to West Oakland, Lewis Watts (n.p.: Light Work Visual Studios). Juxtapositions of images of the deep South and West Oakland.
  • 2001 Our World: The Children of Oakland, Marianne Thomas (Oakland: Harbor House). portraits of youth from 34 different racial/ethnic groups. Harbor House is an evangelical Christian ministry in Oakland.[1]
  • 2001 Made in Oakland: The Furniture of Garry Knox Bennett, Garry Knox Bennett, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, and Arthur Coleman Danto (American Craft Museum).
  • 2003 Oakland, A Photographic Journey, Bill Caldwell (Oakland: Momentum Publications). An extensive photographic sesquicentennial tribute to Oakland. Features many old and new views of Oakland in juxtaposition.[2]
  • 2004 East Bay Then and Now, Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos (San Diego: Thunder Bay Press).
  • [2007] 100 Families Oakland: Art & Social Change, Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, photography by TaSin Sabir (Oakland: Oakland Museum of California). Documentation and exhibit catalog of this 2005-2007 arts & social change project, exploring how the experience of learning and creating art together can strengthen families and communities.
  • 2009 Historic Photos of Oakland, Steven Lavoie (New York and Nashville: Turner Publishing). A collection of nearly 200 historic photographs and fact-filled captions and chapter introductions written by an Oakland native and librarian..
  • 2010 The Marvelous Museum: Orphans, Curiosities & Treasures, Mark Dion (San Francisco: Chronicle Books). An analysis of the role of the museum in contemporary society, using the Oakland Museum of California as a case study.

Volumes in the "Images of America" series by Arcadia Publishing (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina):[3]

  • 2004 Oakland's Chinatown, William Wong.
  • 2004 Oakland Hills, Erika Mailman.
  • 2005 Oakland Fire Department, Geoffrey Hunter.
  • 2005 Oakland (Postcard History Series), Annalee Allen.
  • 2005 The Bay Bridge, Paul C. Trimble and John C. Alioto Jr.
  • 2006 Theaters of Oakland, Jack Tillmany and Jennifer Dowling.
  • 2006 Selections from the Oakland Tribune, Annalee Allen.
  • 2007 Ferries of San Francisco Bay, Paul C. Trimble and William Knorp.
  • 2007 Black Artists in Oakland, Jerry Thompson and Duane Deterville.
  • 2007 The Key System: San Francisco and the Eastshore Empire, Walter Rice and Emiliano Echeverria.
  • 2007 The Pullman Porters and West Oakland, Thomas Tramble and Wilma Tramble.
  • 2007 Rockridge, Robin Wolf and Tom Wolf.
  • 2008 Oakland's Equestrian Heritage, Amelia Sue Marshall and Terry L. Tobey.
  • 2008 Oakland Aviation, Ronald T. Reuther and William T. Larkins.
  • 2009 Jews of Oakland and Berkeley, Frederick Isaac.
  • 2011 Italian Oakland, Rick Malaspina.

Volumes from Blurb.com

  • 2008 Welcome to Oakland: A Photo Album, Ross Moody.
  • 2008 Neighborhood Harvest, by residents of West Oakland.
  • 2012 Nature of Oakland, Bullimalinna Sot.[4]

Novels set in Oakland[edit]

The following is a sampling of the numerous works of fiction set wholly or partially in Oakland, some of which have entered the general culture and history of the city.

  • 1905 The Game, a novel by Jack London about twelve year-old boxer Joe, who met his death in the ring. London was a sports reporter for the Oakland Herald and based the novel on his personal observations.
  • 1909 Martin Eden, a novel by Jack London about a young Oakland proletarian autodidact struggling to become a writer. It was first serialized in the Pacific Monthly magazine from September 1908 to September 1909 and published in book form by Macmillan in September 1909.
  • 1913 The Valley of the Moon, a novel by Jack London, set primarily in the California Wine Country, but which begins its story in Oakland, and is likely based in part on London's experiences as a teenager.
  • (1960) Humpty Dumpty in Oakland, a realist, non-science fiction novel by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Originally completed in 1960, and posthumously published by Gollancz in the United Kingdom in 1986. An American edition was published by Tor Books in 2007. Dick was a Bay Area native. The setting is 1960, where the 58-year-old protagonist has decided to sell his Oakland-based auto repair business and retire.

Books about other Oaklands[edit]

The following books have "Oakland" as a subject, but are not about Oakland, California.

  • Historic Oakland Cemetery, Tevi Taliaferro (about Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia).
  • There are also manuals, brochures, and catalogs for the "Oakland" automobile manufactured 1907 - 1909 by the Oakland Motor Car Company in Michigan; and then 1909 - 1931 by the then subsidiary Oakland Motors Division of General Motors.

See also[edit]

List of San Francisco Bay Area writers

References[edit]

External links[edit]