The Battle for People’s Park, Berkeley 1969 PREORDER

This title will ship on May 15, 2019.

In eyewitness testimonies and hundreds of remarkable photographs, The Crying of Lot 1875-2 commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most searing conflicts that closed out the tumultuous 1960s: the Battle for People’s Park. In April 1969, a few Berkeley activists planted the first tree on a University of California-owned, abandoned city block on Telegraph Avenue. Hundreds of people from all over the city helped build the park as an expression of a politics of joy. The University was appalled, and warned that unauthorized use of the land would not be tolerated; and on May 15, which would soon be known as Bloody Thursday, a violent struggle erupted, involving thousands of people. Hundreds were arrested, martial law was declared, and the National Guard was ordered by then-Governor Ronald Reagan to crush the uprising and to occupy the entire city. The police fired shotguns against unarmed students. A military helicopter gassed the campus indiscriminately, causing schoolchildren miles away to vomit. One man died from his wounds. Another was blinded. The vicious overreaction by Reagan helped catapult him into national prominence. Fifty years on, the question still lingers: Who owns the Park?

About the Authors

Tom Dalzell has lived in Berkeley since 1984. He has worked as a lawyer for the labor movement for his entire adult life. He has written extensively about slang. He has been methodically walking the streets of Berkeley since late 2012 in search of quirky stuff, blogging about it since 2013. The New York Times described him as looking “too strait-laced to be the arbiter of the eccentric.” He accepts this verdict.

Todd Gitlin is the author of numerous books, including The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. A former professor of sociology at UC Berkeley, he is currently a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University.
Steve WassermanSteve Wasserman, raised in Berkeley and a graduate of Cal, is Heyday’s publisher and executive director. He is a former editor-at-large for Yale University Press and editorial director of Times Books/Random House and publisher of Hill & Wang and The Noonday Press at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He has worked with many authors and published numerous books, including, most recently, Greil Marcus’s The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, Martha Hodes’s Mourning Lincoln, David Thomson’s Why Acting Matters, and two posthumous volumes of the late critic Ralph J. Gleason’s musical and political writings. A founder of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California, Wasserman was a principal architect of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books during the nine years he served as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review (1996–2005). He began his career as an assistant editor to Warren Hinckle at Francis Ford Coppola’s City Magazine of San Francisco and went on to become deputy editor of the Sunday Opinion section and Op-Ed Page of the Los Angeles Times (1978–1983) before becoming editor in chief of New Republic Books, based in Washington, D.C., and New York. He was also a partner in Kneerim & Williams, a Boston-based literary agency, and represented, among others, Robert Scheer, Christopher Hitchens, David Thomson, Linda Ronstadt, and Placido Domingo. He has written for many publications, including The Village Voice, Threepenny Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Conservative, The Progressive, Columbia Journalism Review, Los Angeles Times, and the (London) Times Literary Supplement.