The extraordinary historian and author Oscar Lewis (not to be confused with the anthropologist Oscar Lewis, who was also an author) was one of the first historians to seriously write about the culture and history of the American West.
Oscar Lewis found a passion for writing at a young age, and after selling a few short stories to different periodicals while still in school at Berkeley, he decided to drop out and pursue writing full time. A master storyteller and engaging writer, Lewis wrote a number of great books in his lifetime about the literary, cultural, and social history of the American West. Mr. Lewis's best-known book, "The Big Four" about the robber barons who built the first transcontinental railroads, remains the standard work in its field and has been described as "an absorbing history…" and "a grand story, expertly told." My father, Robert Haines, Jr., who still owns and runs the shop, had the great honor of knowing this man. Back in the late 1980’s, when Oscar Lewis was in his late 90’s, he was known to take the bus from his home in North Beach down to Van Ness, then walk from there and head downtown. On occasion, as he passed our bookshop, he would open the door, stick his head in, and ask “are you busy, Bob?” If the answer was no, then my dad would grab a jacket and lock up the store for a few hours, and Mr. Lewis would treat him to lunch at the Bohemian Club a few blocks away, while regaling him with wonderful stories of his life, of California, and of San Francisco.
And there is no denying that the man had a wonderful sense of humor- scroll through the photos to the last, and read his wonderful inscription in his book "The Silver Kings". #oscarlewis #california #sanfrancisco #nevada #americanwest #thebigfour #history #nonfiction #bohemianclub #somethingtothrowatthecat #book #books #oldbook #oldbooks #rarebook #rarebooks #collectible #collectiblebooks #antiquarian #antiquarianbooks #antiques #booksforsale #bibliophiles #bookworms #bookstagram #argonautbookshop