The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

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Overview

Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. It is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

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The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

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Overview

Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. It is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

Harvey Milk has been the subject of numerous books and movies, including the Academy Award–winning 1984 documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk. His life is also the basis of a 2008 major motion picture, Milk, starring Sean Penn.

The definitive story of the man whose personal life, public career, and tragic assassination mirrored the dramatic and unprecedented emergence of the gay community in America during the '70s. 8 pages of photos.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A no-holds-barred character study and a history of the local gay movement . . . An investigative piece on the mechanics of big-city government in all its expedient, back-biting splendor.” —The Washington Post

“A remarkable work [of] biography, social history, and political machination . . . Exceptional.” —The Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312560850
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 237,424
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy Shilts was one of the first openly gay journalists hired at a major newspaper and worked for the San Francisco Chronicle for thirteen years. He died of AIDS in 1994 at his home in the Sonoma County redwoods in California. He was the author of several groundbreaking bestsellers, including And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1987) and Conduct Unbecoming: Lesbians and Gays in the U.S. Military (1993).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Author's Note xiii
Prologue xv
Part I The Years Without Hope 1
1 The Men without Their Shirts 3
2 Gay Everyman 12
3 Judy Garland's Dead 30
4 Sodom by the Sea 47
Part II The Mayor of Castro Street 67
5 Politics as Theater 69
6 The Early Invaders 81
7 The First Skirmish 95
8 Gay Main Street 111
9 Harvey Milk vs. The Machine 127
10 Orange Tuesday 153
11 Showdown on Castro Street 169
Part III Supervisor Harvey Milk 187
12 Media Star 189
13 Willkommen Castro 211
14 Deadline Pressure 229
15 Curtain Call 252
16 No Cross, No Crown 263
Part IV The Legend Begins 297
17 Justice and Thieves 299
18 The Final Act 324
Epilogue 340
Appendix I. A Populist Looks at the City Speech to the Joint International Longshoremen & Warehouseman's Union of San Francisco September 10, 1973 349
Appendix II. A City of Neighborhoods Address at Inaugural Dinner January 10, 1978 353
Appendix III. The Hope Speech Keynote Address to Gay Caucus of California Democratic Council (San Diego) March 10, 1978 359
Appendix IV. That's What America Is Speech at Gay Freedom Day Rally June 25, 1978 364
Appendix V. Harvey Milk's Political Will Tape-recorded November 18, 1977 372
Notes on Sources 376
Index 381
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Great Read About Interesting Time in America

    The movie "Milk" got me interested in reading about the life of Harvey Milk. This is a fascinating story about the rise of the Castro as a Gay Mecca in the 1970s in San Francisco. The movie wisely concentrated on Milk's last decade, but this book gives a better overall picture of his life, including his years before he became an activist. The book shows his strengths, charisma, and also flaws. It is never boring. I am now interested in reading the other books by Randy Shilts. There are many compelling stories wrapped up in the same times, such as Anita Bryant, the Peoples Temple, Jimmy Carter, etc. Book includes many details about city politics, how neighborhoods rise and fall in big cities, how the Castro grew beyond control, how the police interacted with the gays, and the circle of friends and colleagues around Harvey Milk, with their shifting loyalties. Highly recommended reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    GAY ICON IN TODAY'S MORE TOLERANT SOCIETY

    After having read two other books by the same author of this book I am not surprised by the amount of research Randy Shilts had to peform in order to give us this detailed account of one of America's first openly gay politician. In an era where gay rights are becoming more acceptable this is a great way to introduce a new generation of readers to the important story of equal rights regardless of sexual orientation. A great read before seeing the film "MILK".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2009

    Extraordinary

    Mayor of Castro Street is an extraordinary look into the life of the late Harvey Milk. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and I loved all the politcal intrigue.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2014

    A classic

    This is on my list of upcoming reads. I skimmed this a bit and love it. I was so devastated when Harvey Milk and George Moscone were assassinated. It makes one wonder history would have changed if they had lived on.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    A great read

    I'm reading this for a scholarship essay, and the detail in this book is amazing! The author really lets you get the inside look on the late politician. I totally recommend this to readers of all ages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    You've seen the movie, now fill in the story

    With the popularity of the movie MILK, many are looking for more information about slain gay rights activist, Harvey Milk. This is the definitive account of Milk and his times. It should be required reading for any LGBT or ally. Anyone trying to understand current struggles needs to read the roots planted in the Castro three decades ago. Shilts' account is touching yet full of journalistic integrity. I highly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 9 Customer Reviews

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