"A classic of urban history, environmental history, California history, and socially oriented architectural criticism, this work contains scholarship that is thrilling in its comprehensiveness. Never before have the inner dynamics of the regional civilization centered in San Francisco been so comprehensively integrated."Dr. Kevin Starr, State Librarian of California, author of Americans and the California Dream
"Imperial San Francisco is a great gift of a book, the product of extraordinary research, insight, and hard work that connects a lot of dots and gives me a reinvigorated focus and curiosity [about] what California culture was and what might become of it all."Gary Snyder
Part theory, part history, but with a whole lot of graft, sex and murder thrown in, Brechin has pioneered a genre: potboiler urban history.