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Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. His reviews appear on and KQED’s “The California Report.” He and his wife and son live in San Francisco.


The Age of Inequality

Fall 2010 | Criticism

Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies, by Judith Stein. Yale, $32.50 Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, by Jefferson Cowie. The New Press, $27.95 Long before Thoma [...]

Real Americans

What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America, by Ariela J. Gross. Harvard University Press, October 2008. $29.95 As a child, there were the Americans, and then there was us. Americans weren’t that plentiful in my grandmoth [...]

Growing Up at the Movies

The Film Club, by David Gilmour. 12 Books, May 2008. $21.99 In 1980, the Academy Awards embarrassed itself (not for the first or the last time) when it ignored Paul Dooley’s performance in Breaking Away. Dooley, one of the best character actors [...]

Barbarians at the Wall

The Great Wall: China Against the World, 1000 BC–AD 2000, by Julia Lovell. Grove, March 2006. $25 cloth, $15 paper The West Bank Wall: Unmaking Palestine, by Ray Dolphin. Pluto Press, March 2006. $22.95 paper Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotte [...]