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Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Loveby David Talbot
Synopses & Reviews
andlt;Iandgt;In a kaleidoscopic narrative, bestselling author David Talbot recounts the gripping story of San Francisco in the turbulent years between 1967 and 1982and#8212;and of the extraordinary men and women who led to the cityand#8217;s ultimate rebirth and triumph.andlt;/Iandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Season of the Witch andlt;/Iandgt;is the first book to fully capture the dark magic of San Francisco in this breathtaking period, when the city radically changed itselfand#8212;and then revolutionized the world. The cool gray city of love was the epicenter of the 1960s cultural revolution. But by the early 1970s, San Franciscoand#8217;s ecstatic experiment came crashing down from its starry heights. The city was rocked by savage murder sprees, mysterious terror campaigns, political assassinations, street riots, and finally a terrifying sexual epidemic. No other city endured so many calamities in such a short time span. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;David Talbot takes us deep into the riveting story of his cityand#8217;s ascent, decline, and heroic recovery. He draws intimate portraits of San Franciscoand#8217;s legendary demons and saviors: Charles Manson, Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Bill Graham, Herb Caen, the Cockettes, Harvey Milk, Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, Joe Montana and the Super Bowl 49ers. He reveals how the city emerged from the trials of this period with a new brand of and#8220;San Francisco values,and#8221; including gay marriage, medical marijuana, immigration sanctuary, universal health care, recycling, renewable energy, consumer safety, and a living wage mandate. Considered radical when they were first introduced, these ideas have become the bedrock of decent society in many parts of the country, and exemplify the ways that the city now inspires us toward a live-and-let-live tolerance, a shared sense of humanity, and an openness to change. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;As a new generation of activists and dreamers seeks its own path to a more enlightened future, andlt;Iandgt;Season of the Witchandlt;/Iandgt;and#8212;with its epic tale of the wild and bloody birth of San Francisco valuesand#8212;offers both inspiration and cautionary wisdom.
"Late 1960s San Francisco faced an identity crisis: conservative Irish values clashed with the breed of homegrown liberalism that had begun to spread nationwide. Covering 15 fraught years (1967 — 1982), journalist Talbot (Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years) reveals a community so hell-bent on inclusion that it inadvertently embraced evil. Exhaustive research yields penetrating character studies: the Summer of Love unfolds as Janis Joplin rose in her feathery boa; Jerry Garcia and Mountain Girl narrowly escaped drug-related arrest; and a sparkle-dusted transvestite named Hibiscus revived drag shows. Talbot incisively relates the atmosphere of service in the Haight, populated with intrepid lawyers who defended revolutionaries, open-minded physicians who treated local drug addicts, and liberal clergymen who embraced teen runaways. With the homecoming of Vietnam veterans and an influx of amphetamines, however, the music scene fades as the city faces an outbreak of violence. Into a revolution 'launched with the grandest intentions' slips Charles Manson, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the bomb-wielding New World Liberation Front, and Jim Jones's Flavor Aid carnage. In a surprising ending, Talbot convincingly suggests that imperfect new mayor Dianne Feinstein resurrected the city's heart as it rallied around the 49ers. In exhilarating fashion, Talbot clears the rainbow mist and brings San Francisco into sharp focus. Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
andlt;Iandgt;Salon andlt;/Iandgt;founder David Talbot chronicles the cultural history of San Francisco and from the late 1960s to the early 1980s when figures such as Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin, Jim Jones, and Bill Walsh helped usher from backwater city to thriving metropolis.
In a kaleidoscopic narrative, the New York Times bestselling author of Brothers recounts the gripping story of the civil strife and tragedies that beset San Francisco between 1967 and 1982—and led to the city’s ultimate rebirth and triumph.
San Francisco was the cradle of the 1960s, but also its coffin, giving rise to the Zebra and Zodiac killers, Altamont, Jonestown , the assassination of Harvey Milk, and the AIDS epidemic. And yet San Francisco not only rose from the wreckage of the 1970s, but developed a live-and-let-live tolerance that influenced the entire country.
David Talbot, founder of the San Francisco based web magazine Salon, is uniquely poised to tell his iconic city’s story in all its terrible glory. Season of the Witch comes to life with jaw-dropping scenes and a cast of characters that includes the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, Charles Manson, Patty Hearst, the Cockettes, the Hells Angels, Harvey Milk, and the mercurial 49ers coach Bill Walsh. It was with the help of the 49ers, a grab bag team of misfits who mirrored the city itself, that San Francisco gradually reclaimed its spirit.
As Talbot writes, “San Francisco values did not come into the world with flowers in their hair—they were born howling, in blood and strife.” This is the wild story of the people and events that shaped the city that continues to shape the nation.
About the Author
David Talbot, author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, has been hailed as a "pioneer of online journalism" by The New York Times, is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon. He has worked as a senior editor for Mother Jones magazine and as a features editor for the San Francisco Examiner. Talbot has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time and other publications. He lives with his family in San Francisco.
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