A Stanford University Three Books Selection for 2019
“Essential.… A conflicted and complex portrait of a city starving for solutions.” —Brandon Yu, San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco is changing at warp speed. Famously home to artists and activists, and known as the birthplace of the Beats, the Black Panthers, and the LGBTQ movement, the Bay Area has been reshaped by Silicon Valley. The richer the region gets, the more unequal and less diverse it becomes, and cracks in the city’s facade—rapid gentrification, an epidemic of evictions, rising crime, atrophied public institutions—are growing wider. Inspired by Studs Terkel’s classic works of oral history, Cary McClelland spent years interviewing people at the epicenter of recent change, from venture capitalists and coders to politicians and protesters, capturing San Francisco as never before.
About the Author
Cary McClelland is a writer, filmmaker, lawyer, and rights advocate whose work has taken him around the world. He met his wife in San Francisco, where they settled down and built their first home. They now live in Brooklyn with their son.
A people’s history of the Bay Area.… McClelland carefully layers each dot, each narrative, and with it, a little window into the Bay Area widens until you step back and see it: the full picture.
— Erin Baldassari
Silicon City should be San Francisco’s next big city-wide read.… It should be required reading for every employee of Twitter and Salesforce. Google and Facebook employees should climb aboard their comfy buses bound for Silicon Valley one fine sunny morning and find a copy on their seats. At the very least, McClelland should send a copy to each of the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
— Katie Hafner
McClelland weaves together a narrative of a region under siege by the economic forces of tech, gentrification, and inequality… A refreshing perspective.
— Francesco Guerrieri