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D.G.Wills Books

7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, Ca. 92037 (858)456-1800
HOURS: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 11am-5pm
La Jolla's largest collection of new and used scholarly books; and home of the La Jolla Cultural Society.


Visit the D.G.Wills Books YouTube Channel, featuring past appearances by Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Maureen Dowd, Freeman Dyson, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Billy Collins, Iris Chang, Patricia Neal with Stephen Michael Shearer, Edward Albee, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Oliver Stone. 
D.G.Wills Books events on Book TV, C-SPAN:
Professor Yunte Huang discussing his book Charlie Chan.
Journalist Dave Zirin discusses his book  Welcome to the Terrordome.
D.G.Wills Books events  on UCSD TV:
Professor Robert Polito and Patricia Patterson discussing
Professor Andrew Feenberg discussing his collection The Essential Marcuse.
D.G.Wills Books events on TSN: THE SCIENCE NETWORK:
Professor V.S. Ramachandran dicusses his book The Tell Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human. 

Professor Lawrence M. Krauss discusses his book Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life In Science.


Upcoming Events


Renowned historian
 will discuss his new book
Thursday, March 23, 7PM

timsynder.jpgThe Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. In recent weeks the United States has seen unprecedented changes to the fabric of our national and global identity. As noted historian Timothy Snyder explains, democracy can fail and has failed. Snyder offers today’s reader a guide to identifying and understanding the frightening parallels that exist between our current reality and the reality faced by Europeans of the twentieth century. Through the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, democracies across Europe would yield to fascism, Nazism, and communism. Americans have always held tight to the belief that such regime change can’t happen here—but that is a dangerous illusion. Having spent his career examining the tragedies and atrocities of the twentieth century, Snyder has studied the ways in which shifts and changes, both large and small, have led to the failure of democratic principles and ideals. As he writes, “history does not repeat, but it does instruct”—and we must heed its warnings.

"We are rapidly ripening for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves.” —Svetlana Alexievich, Winner of The Nobel Prize in Literature

TIMOTHY SNYDER is one of the leading American historians and public intellectuals. He is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2001, he held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. His books include The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1659-1999Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet UkraineThe Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg ArchdukeBloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin; and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Snyder was the recipient of an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2015 and received the Havel Foundation prize the same year. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Collection of Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, and sits on the advisory councils of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and other organizations.


Alexander P. Butterfield
will discuss Bob Woodward’s new book
Sunday, April 9, 2PM



“There’s more to the story of Nixon,” confided Alexander P. Butterfield, the aide who disclosed the president’s greatest secret – the taping system that provided the evidence of his Watergate crimes and ended the Nixon presidency. For three years as Deputy Assistant to the President, working and watching from an office adjoining the Oval Office, Butterfield was often the first to see Nixon in the morning and the last at night, the ultimate insider and the most dangerous witness. Butterfield supervised the installation of the taping system and was one of a handful who knew about it. Even Nixon’s top aides, Henry Kissinger and John Ehrlichman, were not aware of it. In his memoir RN, the president wrote that he believed the secret “would never be revealed.”


Butterfield’s insights reveal Nixon’s secrets, rages, obsessions and deceptions; and his vindictive preoccupation with disinformation and suppression of the press, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post. Sound familiar? Pulitzer Prize Washington Post investigative journalist Bob Woodward describes the intense drama of Butterfield’s struggle and why and how he changed history.


Alexander P. Butterfield attended UCLA, the University of Maryland, George Washington University, the National War College and the National Defense University. During his Air Force career,Col.Butterfield flew ninety-eight combat and reconnaissance missions during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He later served as a military assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, and was senior U.S. military officer in Australia. After leaving the White House, he served as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently he serves as Chairman of the Board of The Institute for Brain and Society.


It was the biggest bombshell of the biggest political scandal in American history: White House aide Alexander Butterfield revealing the existence of the White House taping system.”  -CBS News.


San Francisco historian and musician
Mat Callahan
will discuss his new book

Wednesday, May 17th 7PM


As the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love floods the media with debates and celebrations of music, political movements, “flower power,” “acid rock,” and “hippies,” The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in San Francisco, 1965–1975 offers a critical re-examination of the interwoven political and musical happenings in San Francisco in the Sixties. Author, musician, and native San Franciscan Mat Callahan explores the dynamic links between the Black Panthers and Sly and the Family Stone, the United Farm Workers and Santana, the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and the New Left and the counterculture. Callahan’s meticulous, impassioned arguments both expose and reframe the political and social context for the San Francisco Sound and the vibrant subcultural uprisings with which it is associated. Using dozens of original interviews, primary sources, and personal experiences, the author shows how the intense interplay of artistic and political movements put San Francisco, briefly, in the forefront of a worldwide revolutionary upsurge. 

Mat Callahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco, where he founded Komotion International. He is the author of three books, Sex, Death & the Angry Young Man, Testimony, and The Trouble with Music as well as the editor of Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook.  

“Something very special took place in San Francisco in the Sixties, generating waves of social and aesthetic motion that still ricochet around this planet. The Explosion of Deferred Dreams takes a clear-eyed, politically engaged view that separates truth from propaganda. Grasping why the time became legendary and how society dealt with the challenges it created is what Explosion is about—and it accomplishes this critical task with intelligence and clarity.” Dennis McNally, author of A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead.


Prominent medical historian
Conrad Keating

will discuss his new book
 The Transformation of Geographical Medicine
 in the U.S. and Beyond”
Saturday, July 15, 7PM


Kenneth Warren was a powerful figure in twentieth century medicine whose work transformed public health policy and tropical medicine, and who left a profound legacy in global health thinking. A prolific writer and researcher, Warren was respected for his scientific research, winning awards and accolades, while his later role as activist, agitator, innovator and connoisseur of science brought him international recognition. His career in medicine is remembered for three enduring achievements: 1) his efforts to introduce modern biomedical science to the study of infectious diseases in the developing world; 2) the proselytizing energy he brought to the ethical challenge of how to provide the most cost-effective health care to the world's poorest people; 3) and his tenure as Director of Health Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation, during which time he inaugurated the Great Neglected Diseases of Mankind Programme. Told through personal interviews with both Warren's supporters and detractors, the story of Warren's career, inexorably interwoven with the GND programme, is a compelling narrative that has not only enduring implications for current medical research, funding and healthcare across the globe, but also a long-standing legacy for the future ways in which we combat disease in the developing world.

Conrad Keating is the Writer-in-Residence at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at Oxford University. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed biography of the British epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll, Smoking Kills: The Revolutionary Life of Richard Doll.  His most recent publication, Great Medical Discoveries: An Oxford Story, accompanied the exhibition ‘Great Medical Discoveries: 800 Years of Oxford Innovation’ which he curated for the Bodleian Library, Oxford.  For the past twenty years, Keating has been dedicated to showcasing some of the biomedical stories that have advanced human wellbeing to a wider audience.


South Carolina poet
 Gary Jackson
will read from his book
Missing You,
 selected and
 with an Introduction
 by Yusef Komunyakaa
 Saturday, July 22nd, 7pm

Image resultWith humor and the serious collector’s delight, Gary Jackson imagines the comic-book worlds of Superman, Batman, and the X-Men alongside the veritable worlds of Kansas, racial isolation, and the gravesides of a sister and a friend.

Jackson integrates the comic-book world of superheroes like Spider-Man and Batman into his world as a black adolescent in Kansas.  The finale is gentle, almost anticlimactic, as he recalls how his superheroes let him ‘inhabit a world a page removed from our own,’ hinting at the grace of (temporary) escapism.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He is featured on 2013’s “New American Poets” by the Poetry Society of America, and his poems have appeared in Callaloo, Tin House, 32 Poems, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of both a Cave Canem and Bread Loaf fellowship, and an associate poetry editor at Crazyhorse. He teaches poetry in the MFA program at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

Previous Events at D.G.Wills Books


Christopher Hitchens


Director Oliver Stone


Historian and Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert


Francoise Gilot


Vogue magazine photo of Francoise Gilot at the original store


Michael McClure


Yevgeny Yevtushenko


Nobel Laureate Gerald Edelman, Director of the Neurosciences Institute, with U.C. Berkeley philosopher John Searle with Mrs. Searle


Nobel Laureate Manfred Eigen


Quincy Troupe


Iris Chang


Gerry Spence


Noted editor Robert Weil, editing a Patricia Highsmith manuscript for W.W. Norton & Co.



Loeb Classical Library and Western Philosophy wall

Previous Events at D.G.Wills Books 



Ted Burke, Norman Mailer, Dennis Wills


Allen Ginsberg, l994


The New York Times Pulitzer Prize Columnist Maureen Dowd


Jill Abramson, Executive Editor, The New York Times, with Maureen Dowd


Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States, 2001-2003


Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Gore Vidal, November 2005

Listen to this event


Gore Vidal with Professor Dennis Altman


Gore Vidal, March l998, with noted South African playwright Athol Fugard in audience


Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, February 1995


James D. Watson and Francis Crick with their model of the DNA molecule, the Double Helix, at Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, l953


Nobel Laureate James D. Watson, September 2007


Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott


Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis


Three & One-Half Time Pulitzer Prize Playwright Edward Albee


Pulitzer Prize Poet Gary Snyder


Pulitzer Prize poet Gary Snyder


Oscar-Winning Actress Patricia Neal with her biographer Stephen Michael Shearer


Patricia Neal holding a model of "Gort" from the science fiction film classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still"


Richard C. Atkinson, President Emeritus of the University of California, former UCSD Chancellor and former Director of the National Science Foundation


Renowned scientist Freeman Dyson 


Freeman Dyson with Mrs. Dyson


A visit from Oscar Nominated and Emmy Award Winning Actor Paul Giamatti


A visit from Jim Belushi, 2003


Jim Belushi at the original store, l988


Claude Picasso and Francoise Gilot

More photos of previous events

D.G.Wills Books
7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla
(858) 456-1800