CC SA Our Oakland

There are many wonderful books about Oakland!

Many of these books are available at the Oakland Public Library. When adding books to this list, please add a * to indicate that the book is available at the library.

Historical Books About Oakland in the Public Domain

  1. An Act to Incorporate the City of Oakland. [full text] Bonnard, Farwell & Walton, 1854.
  2. Alameda County: the Eden of the Pacific. Tribune Publishing Co: 1898. @Oakland Public Library
  3. An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area by Susan Dinkeispiel Cemy, 2007.@Oakland Public Library
  4. Baker, Joseph E. Past and Present of Alameda County, California. Volume 1. SJ Clarke, 1914. @Oakland Public Library
  5. The Bay of San Francisco: The Metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its suburban cities : a history, Volume 1. Lewis Publishing Company: 1892. @Oakland Public Library
  6. The Bay of San Francisco: The Metropolis of the Pacific Coast and its suburban cities : a history, Volume 2 Lewis Publishing Company: 1892. @Oakland Public Library
  7. Calderwood, George and GT Loofbourow. Oakland, Athens of the Pacific. GT Loofbourow and Co, 1897. @Oakland Public Library
  8. Department of Public Instruction Oakland California School Directory, Board of Education of the City of Oakland, Bulletin Number 2, 1916.
  9. Dow, W. A. City Charter of the City of Oakland, California: also general municipal ordinances of said city in effect October 1, 1898. Enquirer Publishing Co.: Oakland, 1898
  10. Frick, A.L. City Charter of the city of Oakland, California: also general municipal ordinances of said city in effect December 12, 1903. Press of the Oakland Tribune: 1903. @Oakland Public Library
  11. Guinn, James Miller. History of the State of California and Biographical Record to Oakland and Environs:Also Containing Biographies of Well-known Citizens of the Past and Present, Volume 1. Historic Record Company, 1907. @Oakland Public Library
  12. Guinn, James Miller. History of the State of California and Biographical Record to Oakland and Environs:Also Containing Biographies of Well-known Citizens of the Past and Present, Volume 2. Historic Record Company, 1907. @Oakland Public Library
  13. History of Alameda County, California. Oakland: MW Wood, 1883. @Oakland Public Library
  14. The Negro Trail Blazers of California, Delilah Leontium Beasley, Times Mirror 1919. @Oakland Public Library
  15. Oakland, California: Its Industries and Environs. 1903 @Oakland Public Library
  16. Oakland and Surroundings: Illustrated and Described, Showing its Advantages for Residence or Business. W. W. Elliot Publisher: 1885. [full text] @Oakland Public Library
  17. Blake, Evarts. Greater Oakland. 1911 (full scan on

Books Written About Oakland

  1. Allen, Annalee. Oakland: Postcard History. Arcadia Publishing: 2005. *
  2. Allen, Annalee. Selections from the Oakland Tribune Archives. Arcadia Publishing: 2006. *
  3. Bagwell, Beth. Oakland: The Story of  a City. Oakland Heritage Alliance: 2012. *
  4. Blues City: A Walk in Oakland by Ishmael Reed *

  5. Bradford, Amory. Oakland's Not for Burning. New York: David McKay Company, Inc. 1968. *
  6. Bernhardi, Robert. The Buildings of Oakland with a section on PiedmontForest Hill Press, Oakland, CA 1979.
  7. Browning, Rufus P., Marshall, Dale R., Tabb, David H. Protest Is Not Enough: The Struggle of Blacks and Hispanics for Equality in Urban Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1984. * [Note: Not just about Oakland, but includes a chapter about Oakland.]

    1. Short perspective on this book in Handbook of Social Movements Across Disciplines (Google Books).

  8. Caldwell, Bill.  Oakland: A Photographic Journey: 2003
  9. Cohen, Alan A History of Berkeley - From The Ground Up. The early history of Berkeley, is in fact the early History of Oakland, as Berkeley was part of the original Oakland Township before splitting off on its own.
  10. Crouchett, Lawrence P.; Lonnie G. Bunch III and Martha Kendall Winnacker. Visions Toward Tomorrow: the History of the East Bay Afro-American Community, 1852-1977 * @Oakland Public Library
  11. Dick, Phillip K. Humpty Dumpty in Oakland. 1972
  12. Douzet, Frédérick. The Color of Power: Racial Coalitions and Political Power in Oakland. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press. 2012. (Originally published in French in 2007, English edition released in 2012) *
  13. Epstein, Kitty Kelly.  Organizing to Change a City.  New York:  Peter Lang. 2012 *
  14. Eye from the Edge A Memoir of West Oakland, California by Ruben Llamas*
  15. Hayes, Edward C. Power Structure and Urban Policy: Who Rules in Oakland? McGraw-Hill, Inc.: 1972. *
  16. Homegirls in the Public Sphere by Marie "Keta" Miranda*
  17. Hunter, Captain Geoffrey. Oakland Fire Department. Arcadia Publishing: 2005. *
  18. Implementation : how great expectations in Washington are dashed in Oakland : or, why it's amazing that federal programs work at all, this being a saga of the Economic Development Administration as told by two sympathetic observers who seek to build morals on a foundation of ruined hopes / Jeffrey L. Pressman and Aaron Wildavsky. Berkeley : University of California Press, c1984.
  19. Issac, Frederick. Jews of Oakland and Berkeley. Arcadia Publishing: 2009. *
  20. Johnson, Marilynn S. The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
  21. Krich, John (with photographs by Dorothea Lange). Bump City: Winners and Losers in Oakland. Berkeley: City Miner Books. 1979. *
  22. The Last Chicano: A Mexican American Experience by Manuel Ruben Delgado*

  23. Louie, Miriam Ching Yoon. Sweatshop warriors : immigrant women workers take on the global factory. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press. 2001. * [Note: Not just about Oakland, but includes a chapter about Oakland.]
  24. Mailman, Erika. Oakland Hills. Arcadia Publishing: 2004.*
  25. Mailman, Erika. Oakland's Neighborhoods. Oakland: Mailman Press, 2005.* 
  26. Malaspina, Rick. Italian Oakland. Arcadia Publishing: 2011. *@Oakland Public Library
  27. Marshall, Amelia Sue and Terry L Tobey. Oakland's Equestrian Heritage. Arcadia Publishing: 2008. *
  28. McArdle, Phil. Oakland Police Department. Arcadia Publishing: 2007. *@Oakland Public Library
  29. Meltsner, Arnold J. The Politics of City Revenue. Berkeley, University of California Press. 1971. *
  30. Merritt, Frank Clinton. History of Alameda County. Chicago: SJ Clarke Publishing Company, 1928.* (2 Volumes: Volume 2 is biographical sketches.)

  31. Oakland in Popular Memory is a book about recent movements in Oakland, notably around art, in the context of larger national and global contexts, attempting to portray a more balanced image of Oakland than the mainstream media tends to show.
  32. Oden, Robert Stanley. From Black to Brown and Beyond: The Struggle for Progressive Politics in Oakland, California, 1966-2011. University Readers, Inc.: 2012. *
  33. Pape, Janet. I-880 Cypress Replacement Project In Oakland & Emeryville: Archeological Research Design & Treatment Plan. Vol II: Prehistoric Archaeology. California Department of Transportation: 1995.
  34. Praetzellis, Mary. West Oakland- A Place to Start From: Research Design and Treatment Plan Cypress 1-880 Replacement Project. Volume 1: Historical Archaeology. Anthropological Studies Center: 1994.*
  35. Pressman, Jeffrey L. and Wildavsky, Aaron. Implementation: How Great Expectations in Washington are Dashed in Oakland; or, Why It's Amazing that Federal Programs Work at All This Being the Saga of the Economic Development Administration as Told by Two Sympathetic Observers Who Seek to Build Morals on a Foundation of Ruined Hopes. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1973. *
  36. Pressman, Jeffrey L. Federal Programs and City Politics: The Dynamics of the Aid Process in Oakland. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1975. *
  37. Punished : policing the lives of Black and Latino boys  by Victor M. Rios*
  38. Reuther, Ronald T and William T Larkins. Oakland Aviation. Arcadia Publishing: 2008. *
  39. Rhomberg, Chris. No There There: Race, Class and Political Community in Oakland. University of California Press: 2004. * @Oakland Public Library
  40. Self, Robert O. American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003. * @Oakland Public Library
  41. Stanford Research Institute. Human Resources Development for Oakland: Problems and Policies. Menlo Park, Stanford Research Institute. 1968.
  42. Street life : poverty, gangs, and a Ph.D. by Victor M. Rios*
  43. Tillmany, Jack and Jennifer Dowling. Theatres of Oakland. Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
  44. Tramble, Thomas and Wilma Tramble. The Pullman Porters and West Oakland. Arcadia Publishing: 2007. *
  45. Wolf, Robin and Tom Wolf. Rockridge. Arcadia Publishing: 2007. * @Oakland Public Library
  46. Wong, William.Oakland's Chinatown. Arcadia Publishing: 2004. *@Oakland Public Library

  47. Mabe, Rod. History of Oakland, California Post Office 1851-1975.Oakland Post Office 1975.*
  48. Nickle and Dime by Gary Soto University of New Mexico Press (January 1, 2000)*
  49. Poetry Lover by Gary Soto *
  50. Cure it with Honey by Thurston Scott  Published by Harpers 1951; First edition. edition (January 1, 1951) *
  51. Life Stories:Voices from the East Bay Latino Community by Alex Saragoza Published [Oakland, Calif.] : Oakland Museum of California, c2003.*
  52. Six Gold stars By Dexter H Mast vol 1 and 2 Published by Glen Press (1990)*
  53. Brekke-Miesner, Paul. Home Field AdvantageThe City that Changed the Face of Sports. (no publisher info?) 2013.
  54. "Free to Choose: The Making of a Jewish Community in the American West : the Jews of Oakland, California from the Gold Rush to the Present Day"* by Fred Rosenbaum. Published by  Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, The Jewish Museum of the West, (1976)

  55. Poole, Thomas. Killing the Messenger. Random House: 2012. (Not precisely about Oakland, but about Chauncey Bailey and the Bey family. Much of it takes place in Oakland.)

  56. Pearlman, Lise. The Sky's the Limit: People v. Newton. Regent Press.

  57. Armentrout Ma, Eva Hometown Chinatown: A History of Oakland's Chinese Community, 1852-1995 Routledge Press, 2011

  58. Nye, Risa There Was A Fire Here: A Memoir She Writes Press, 2016

Dissertations and Theses

  1. McClintock, Nathan Crane. "Cultivation, Capital, and Contamination: Urban Agriculture in Oakland, California." UC Berkeley, 2011.
  2. Rodriguez, Joseph. "From Personal Politics to Party Politics: The Development of Black Leadership in Oakland, California, 1900-1950." master's thesis, University of CAlifornia, Santa Cruz, 1983.
  3. Blutza, Steven Jay. "Oakland's Commission and Council-Manager Plans-- Causes and Consequences." UC Berkeley, 1967.*

Community Books

These are books created by and for the community of Oakland. They are often produced via grants, city initiatives, school programs, and community groups.

  1. Oakland Readers - Series of short books produced by the Oakland Library's Second Start Adult Literacy Program in the 1990s. *
  2. We are Oakland International - A graphic novel written by Oakland International High School students about their lives and experiences of immigration. *
  3. Writing Readers Writing - Appears to be a book of youth poetry and drawings produced as part of a Library project in the late 80s. Available at the Oakland History Room.

Pages tagged “books about oakland”

...Books with a * are available at the Oakland Public Library.

Links and References