Surveying the transformation of San Francisco in the early millenium by Silicon Valley, critically acclaimed writer Rebecca Solnit and photographer Susan Schwartzenberg describe the complex interactions that make up a living, creative, diverse city.
One of our most impassioned and acclaimed chroniclers of American urbanism, Rebecca Solnit explores the impact of skyrocketing rents, architectural homogenization, and the links between artists and gentrification. Wealth, she argues, is just as capable of ravaging cities as poverty. Schwartzenberg's social documentary photographs work with Solnit's interlinked essays to memorialize San Francisco's vanishing spaces of civic memory and public life.
Both a portrait of an acute crisis and a call to defend collective public life, Hollow City makes a fervent case for the imaginative potential of cities.
About the Author
Rebecca Solnit, a resident of San Francisco for twenty years, is a former art critic and and environmental activist and the author of several books, including A Book of Migrations, Savage Dreams and Wanderlust: A History of Walking. Urban archaeologist and artist Susan Schwartzenberg is the author of the critically acclaimed Market Street, a visual study of San Francisco's main artery, as well as photo-essays in several books, including Reclaiming San Francisco.
"Schwartzenberg's images survey more than thirty years of upheaval in the name of 'urban renewal,' and Solnit's text brings urgency to the question of whether a place in which artists, activists, and members of diverse races and classes can no longer afford to live is fated to become 'a city of presentation without creation.'"
"So many of the people who kept American cities alive and creative through dark decades, when capital abandoned the city, have become victims of capital's recent triumphant return to the city. This beautifully composed and crafted book tells their story. It is a compelling vision of our emerging global culture of displaced persons."
"Passionate, potent, and to the point, Solnit's polemic embodies American political and social writing at its best."
"One day, we all woke up and San Francisco had become a bohemian entertainment park, without bohemians. Those were the golden days of virtual capitalism. Rebecca Solnit and Susan Schwartzenberg help us to understand why this happened. Their book is necessary to understanding our new place in a brand new scary world."