Welcome to one of America's most vibrant cities, what Ishmael Reed calls "planet city." He takes us behind the scenes of Oakland's Japanese jazz clubs and black cowboy parades, through its beautiful hills and waterfronts, and into its fascinating history.Although Oakland is often overshadowed by San Francisco, its neighbor across the Bay, it is an American wonder. The city is surrounded by natural beauty; its architecture mirrors its history as a Spanish mission, Gold Rush outpost, and early twentieth century home of the West's biggest robber barons. Today, Oakland may be most famous for its diverse communities of immigrants (in one district alone, more than two hundred languages are spoken) political radicals, and utopians.
"Reed, novelist, poet, and longtime Oakland resident, offers an eclectic look at the multicultural city that thrives in the shadow of the better known and celebrated San Francisco....Reed offers a historic overview as well as acerbic commentary on the political and cultural scene of Oakland." (Booklist)
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Not Present Day Oakland