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A People's History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport

A People's History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport cover

A People's History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport

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An illuminating profile of the San Francisco Bay Area, and its regional and global influence, as seen from the focal point of San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

A People's History of SFO uses the history of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to tell a multifaceted story of development, encounter, and power in the surrounding region from the eighteenth century to the present. In lively, engaging stories, Eric Porter reveals SFO's unique role in the San Francisco Bay Area's growth as a globally connected hub of commerce, technology innovation, and political, economic, and social influence.

Starting with the very land SFO was built on, A People's History of SFO sees the airport as a microcosm of the forces at work in the Bay Area—from its colonial history and early role in trade, mining, and agriculture to the economic growth, social sanctuary, and environmental transformations of the twentieth century. In ways both material and symbolic, small human acts have overlapped with evolving systems of power to create this bustling metropolis. A People's History of SFO ends by addressing the climate crisis, as sea levels rise and threaten SFO itself on the edge of San Francisco Bay.

Eric Porter is Professor of History, History of Consciousness, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.