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City Lights

SPRING/summer 2012

Bayard Rustins life story told in his own words

through his intimate correspondence, published on the
centennial of his birth

I M u s t R e sis t
Bayard Rustins Life in Letters
edited, with an introduction
by michael g. long
foreword by julian bond

Bayard Rustin has been called the lost

prophet of the civil rights movement. A
master strategist and tireless activist, he is
best remembered as the organizer of the
1963 March on Washington, one of the
largest nonviolent protests ever held in
the US. He brought Gandhis protest techniques to the American civil rights movement and played a deeply influential role
in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., helping
to mold him into an international symbol
of nonviolence.
Despite these achievements, Rustin often remained in the background. As a gay
man convicted of a morals charge, and as a socialist with a background in the Communist Party, he was well aware of the possibility that opponents would use him as
fodder in their denunciations of the movement. He was silenced, threatened, arrested,
beaten, imprisoned and fired from important leadership positions, largely because he
was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era.
Here we have Rustin in his own words, a collection of over 150 of his letters, some
of them breathtakingly personal, remarkable for the insight they offer. His correspondents include the major progressives of his day as well as family and friends, and each
letter is prefaced by a short, informative introduction.
Bayard Rustin stands at the confluence of the great struggles for civil, legal, and
human rights. In a nation still torn by racial hatred and violence, bigotry against homosexuals, and extraordinary divides between rich and poor, his eloquent voice is still
essential today.
Michael G. Long is an associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College and is the author or editor of several books on civil rights,
religion, and politics in mid-century America, including Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil
Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall and First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie
Robinson. He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta and resides in Highland Park,
ISBN: 978-0-87286-578-5 $17.95 276pp MARCH 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

An award-winning journalist explores how social media

is transforming not only politics, media, and business,
but the future of democracy and ourselves

F ri e n d s , F o ll o w e rs a n d t h e
How Social Media are Changing Politics,
Threatening Big Brands, and Killing
Traditional Media
rory o connor
Theres a revolution going on, as ever-accelerating developments in digital information technologies change nearly every aspect of how we live,
work, play, do business and engage in politics.
Share and share alikethe numbers say it all, as
billions of people worldwide flock to online media
and use social networks to discover and spread
news and information.
In the process, ever-growing networks of ordinary people are using these powerful new tools to trim the influence long held by Big Business, Big Government and Big
Media. No longer just passive recipients, participants in social networks now regularly
make and break news while organizing civic and political actions that by-pass censors,
outpace traditional media, attract massive audiences and influence the rise and fall of
brands, industries, politicians and even governments.
In this insiders look at how social media are transforming our world, Rory
OConnor explains the trends and explores what tech visionaries, media makers, political advisers and businesspeople are saying about the meteoric rise of the various social
networks of friends and followers, and what they bode for our future.
Rory OConnor, co-founder of, is the author of Shock Jocks: Hate Speech
& Talk Radio. He has won two Emmys and a George Orwell Award, among many other
Rory OConnor is one of the smartest media guys around. He knows whos spinning,
whos pandering, and whos putting money in his own pocket at the expense of logic,
reason, and the public good.Vanity Fair media critic Michael Wolff

ISBN: 978-0-87286-556-3 $13.95 184pp April 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G 2 0 1 2

Howard Zinns articles for The Progressive (1980-2009)

offer timeless analysis and advocacy for freedom,
democracy, and social change in the United States

T h e His t o ric
Unf u lfill e d P r o m is e
howard zinn ; introduction by
noam chomsky ; foreword by
matthew rothschild

Howard Zinns life and work are the stuff

of legend. His Peoples History of the United
States has sold over 2 million copies and
has altered how we see and teach history.
A hero in word and deed, Zinns views on
freedom, fairness, history, democracy and our own human potential are educational
and transformative. In few places is the genius of his voice more crystalized and accessible than in the dozens of articles he penned for the Progressive magazine from 1980
to 2009, offered together here in book form for the first time. Whether critiquing the
Obama White House, the sorry state of US government and politics, the tragic futility
of US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, or the plight of working people in an
economy rigged to benefit the rich and powerful, Zinns historical clarity, unflappable
optimism, and unshakable questions reverberate throughout The Historic Unfulfilled
Promise: Have our political leaders gone mad? What kind of country do we want to
live in? What is national security? Do we have a right to occupy a country when the
people of that country obviously do not want us there? Is not war itself terrorism?
Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? Has the will
of the people been followed? The Historic Unfulfilled Promise is a genuine work of conscience, rich in ideas, charged with energy; an invaluable introduction for the uninitiated and a must-have for Zinns fans.
Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 - January 27, 2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist.
He wrote the classic A Peoples History of the United States, a brilliant and moving history
of the American people from the point of view of those whose plight has been largely
omitted from most histories, that has sold over two million copies to date. Zinn was a prolific writer and penned many books including The Bomb and A Power Governments Cannot
Suppress. He was widely acknowledged in popular culture; A Peoples History was even
depicted in The Sopranos and The Simpsons.

ISBN: 978-0-87286-555-6 $14.95 184pp june 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

The first and only book of speeches on racism,

community, freedom, and politics in the United States by
international icon Angela Y. Davis

T h e M e a ning o f F r e e d o m
And Other Difficult Dialogues
a n g e l a y . d a vis ; introduction by
r o b i n d . g . k elley
city lights open media

What is the meaning of freedom? Angela

Daviss life and work have been dedicated
to examining this fundamental question
and to ending all forms of oppression that
deny people their political, cultural, and
sexual freedom. In this collection of twelve
searing, previously unpublished speeches,
Davis confronts the interconnected issues
of power, race, gender, class, incarceration,
conservatism and the ongoing need for
social change in the United States. With her
characteristic brilliance, historical insight,
and penetrating analysis, Davis addresses examples of institutional injustice and
explores the radical notion of freedom as a collective striving for real democracynot
a thing granted by the state, law, proclamation or policy, but a participatory social process, rooted in difficult dialogues, that demands new ways of thinking and being. It is
not too much, writes Robin D.G. Kelly in the introduction, to call her one of the worlds
leading philosophers of freedom. The Meaning of Freedom articulates a bold vision of
the society we need to build and the path to get there. Her only book of speeches and
her first full-length book since Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).
Angela Y. Davis is professor emerita at the University of California and author of eight
books. She is a much sought after public speaker and an internationally known advocate
for social justice. Robin D.G. Kelley is author of many books and professor at USC.
Daviss arguments for justice are formidable...The power of her historical insights and
the sweetness of her dream cannot be denied.The New York Times

ISBN: 978-0-87286-503-7 $15.95 300pp SEPTEMBER 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G 2 0 1 2

A new and expanded edition of the classic go-to

collection of Lew Welchs poetry, a must for both fans
and new readers

R ing o f B o n e
Collected Poems 19501971
(New and Expanded Edition)
lew welch; afterword by gary snyder
Lew Welch was a brilliant and troubled
poet, legendary among his Beat peers. Ring
of Bone collects poems, songs, and even a
few drawings, documenting the full sweep
of his creative output, from his early years
until just before his death. This new edition includes photos, a biographic timeline,
and a statement of poetics gleaned from
Welchs own writing.
Welch entered Reed College in 1948,
and the following year moved into a house
with Gary Snyder; they were soon joined
by Philip Whalen. With the emergence of
the Beat movement, Welchs friends began
receiving national attention and his desire to devote himself completely to his poetry
was galvanized. He soon became a part of the San Francisco poetry scene.
Legendary editor Donald Allen included one of Welchs poems in The New American Poetry the seminal anthology published in 1960. That same year Welchs first
book, Wobbly Rock, was released. He continued to write extensively, and in 1965 published three books. Despite his burgeoning success, Welch suffered from bouts with
depression, and on May 23, 1971, Gary Snyder went up to Welchs campsite in the Sierra
Nevada mountains and found a suicide note. Despite an extensive search, Welchs body
was never recovered.
Lew Welch writes lyrical poems of clarity, humor, and dark probings . . . jazz musical
phrasings of American speech is one of Welchs clearest contributions. Gary Snyder

ISBN: 978-0-87286-579-2 $17.95 256pp june 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

The first-ever collection of Marilyn Bucks poetry,

searing, soaring, a living tribute to her indomitable
spirit, revolutionary intelligence, and poets vision

I nsi d e / O u t
Selected Poems
marilyn buck; preface by david meltzer
Marilyn Buck was a committed political radical,
imprisoned for over thirty years for her revolutionary activities. She was also a prolific writer
and poet, publishing her work in a prize-winning
chapbook, an audio CD, and in various journals
and anthologies. She received a PEN American
Center prize for poetry in 2001.
Buck was released from prison less than a
month before her death at age 62 from uterine
cancer. This selection of her finest poetry is a living testament to the fierce intelligence and huge
compassion that inspired and informed her life, and to the liberatory transcendence of
her poetic vision.
Marilyn Jean Buck was an American Marxist revolutionary and feminist poet, who was
imprisoned for over 30 years for her political activities. She was released on July 15, 2010,
less than a month before her death at age 62 from uterine cancer.
Marilyn, of course references her situation in prison in many poems, but the overwhelming sense one has after reading Inside/Out is that one has just experienced a
woman who, though imprisoned, is utterly free. What we have in Marilyn Buck is a
poet who is unafraid to confront the deepest parts of herself with an honesty consistent with the consciousness of a revolutionary. It is the uncovering and revealing
of hope that many of her works manifest. Jack Hirschman, poet laureate of San

ISBN: 978-0-87286-577-8 $15.95 208pp may 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G 2 0 1 2

Inspired by Ovid and renaissance sonnet cycles,

Advice for Lovers is a queer re-imaginging
of the art of courtly love.

A d v ic e f o r L o v e rs
julian talamantez brolaski
city lights spotlight no.

Inspired by Ovids instructional Ars Amatoria, with overtones of Renaissance sonnet

cycles, Advice for Lovers is a unique and highly
wrought volume of poems. Intricate in form
but modern and tawdry in diction, Advice for
Lovers walks a fine line between the anythinggoes orthography of the Elizabethans and the
shifting etymologies of Finnegans Wake. With
the inclusion of trans- and third-gender pronouns, the work also argues for a proliferation
of pronouns beyond a gendered dichotomy.
Divided into two sections, Advices and Nudisms, the book dispenses wisdom on timeless topics of love like How to Transfigure
the Body Utterly, What to Do When the Muse Becomes Your Lover, and even How to
Leave Your Lover. Yet in the midst of its classical splendor we encounter more contemporary figures like Johnny Cash, Ricky Martin, and Jack Spicer. Sexy, kinky, disquieting,
Advice for Lovers blazes an erotic trail into the 21st century.
California-born, Brooklyn-based poet Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of gowanus
atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011) and an editor at the journal Aufgabe and at Litmus
Press. Julian has studied with Nathaniel Mackey, Elizabeth Willis, Lyn Hejinian, and Robert
Hass, received an MFA from Mills College, and is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley. Xir (the
author prefers gender-neutral pronouns) dissertation is on rhyme and xe currently teaches
writing at the New School. Xe also curates vaudeville shows and is the lead singer and
rhythm guitar player in the country band Juan & the Pines. New work can be found on
Julians blog

ISBN: 978-0-87286-581-5 $13.95 100pp APRIL 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 2

Sa n F r a n c i s c o C h i n at o w n i s t h e f i r s t h i s t o r y o f a n d
guide to the neighborhood written by someone born
and raised there

S a n F r a ncisc o C h in a t o w n
A Guide to Its History and Architecture
philip p. choy
San Francisco Chinatown is the first book of its
kindan insiders guide to one of Americas most
celebrated ethnic enclaves by an author born and
raised there. Written by architect and Chinese American studies pioneer Philip Choy, the book details
the triumphs and tragedies of the Chinese American
experience in the US Both a history of Americas
oldest and most famous Chinese community and
a guide to its significant sites and architecture, San
Francisco Chinatown traces the development of the
neighborhood from the citys earliest days to its
post-quake transformation into an oriental tourist
attraction as a pragmatic means of survival. Featuring a building-by-building breakdown of the most
significant sites in Chinatown, the guide is lavishly illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs and offers walking tours for tourists and locals alike.
Retired architect and a renowned historian of Chinese America, Philip P. Choy co-taught
the nations first college level course in Chinese American history at San Francisco State
University. Since then he has created and consulted on numerous TV documentaries, exhibits and publications. He has served on the California State Historic Resource Commission,
on the San Francisco Landmark Advisory Board, five times as President of the Chinese
Historical Society of America (CHSA), and currently as an emeritus CHSA boardmember. He
is a recipient of the prestigious San Francisco State University Presidents Medal.

ISBN: 978-0-87286-540-2 $15.95 184pp JUNE 2012 Paperback original

C I T Y L I G H T S P U B L I S H E R S S P R I N G 2 0 1 2


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e-mail: alyson @ citylights . com

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We proudly present our SPRING/SUMMER 2012 catalog. Reviewers, please let us know if
youd like an advance copy of any book were publishing: Email;
Call 415-362-1901; Fax this checklist 415-362-4921; or Mail it to: Alyson Sinclair /
City Lights Publishers / 261 Columbus Ave / San Francisco, CA 94133.

I M u s t R e sis t
F ri e n d s , F o llo w e rs a n d t h e F u t u r e
T h e His to ric Unf u lfill e d P r o m is e
T h e M e a ning o f F r e e d o m
R ing o f B o n e
I nsi d e / O u t
A d v ic e f o r Lo v e rs
S a n F r a ncisco C h in ato w n
Nam e

Em ail addre ss
Ph on e