Spartan Bookshelf

Photos: David Schmitz.

The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism (Oxford University Press).


In The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism (Oxford University Press), Department of Urban Planning Professor and Institute for Metropolitan Studies Director Gordon Douglas examines DIY urbanism and its implications for community development and urban planning. “Douglas inventories civic engagement full-on, including larger issues of social order and the costs and benefits of people taking pieces of the city into their own hands,” praised Harvey Molotch, author of Against Security.

The Behaviour of Clocks (WordFarm).

Physics and Poetry

Inspired by Einstein’s thought experiments, The Behaviour of Clocks (WordFarm) by Sally Ashton, ’01 English, was lauded as a “wistful, fluent and beautiful” collection by poet Amy Gerstler. Ashton “brilliantly marries the narrative of prose with the lyricism of poetry,” added poet Dean Rader. From Ashton’s prose poem “I have no proof that Lisbon exists”: “This is the dream part, when the trolley turns the corner / shaking like loose change, and the river / opens before you, behind you the hills—a fine / specter, glazed with unerring light.” She recently retired from teaching creative writing in SJSU’s Department of English.

By the Lemon Tree (Nomadic Press).

California Stories

In the short fiction collection By the Lemon Tree (Nomadic Press), Department of English Assistant Professor Keenan Norris offers “stories on loss, race and family that are in turn lyrical, witty and haunting—a fantastic read,” praised author Heidi Durrow. A “tender homage to a familial network,” added author and CSU East Bay Professor Stephen Gutierrez. Norris’s first novel, Brother and the Dancer, received the James D. Houston Award.

Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 (Haymarket Books).

When and Why Workers Take Up Arms

When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 (Haymarket Books) by Department of Political Science Lecturer Robert Ovetz is a “revelatory and illuminating account of the uses of political violence by workers in American history,” reported Brooklyn College Professor Immanuel Ness. “An indispensable book for understanding the violent nature of the capital-labor relationship during the late 19th and early 20th century,” praised Hilbert College Professor Andrew Kolin. Ovetz, who holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas-Austin, specializes in labor and worker organization research.


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