Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love

Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love

by David Talbot


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439108246
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 452
Sales rank: 59,858
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

David Talbot, author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, is the founder and CEO of Salon. He lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xiii

Introduction xv

Prologue: Wild Irish Rogues 1

Part 1 Enchantment 19

1 Saturday Afternoon 21

2 Dead Men Dancing 26

3 The Walled City 32

4 The Free City 36

5 The Lost Children of Windy Feet 42

6 Street Medicine 51

7 Murder on Shakedown Street 60

8 The Napoleon of Rock 68

9 The Daily Circus 76

10 San Francisco's Morning Kiss 84

11 Radio Free America 90

12 The Palace of Golden Cocks 98

Part 2 Terror 109

13 A Death in the Family 111

14 Lucifer Rising 123

15 A Knife Down Your Throat 134

16 Benevolent Dictator 144

17 Love's Last Stand 156

18 Dungeons and Dragons 169

19 The Revolution Will Be Televised 180

20 Black and White and Red All Over 204

21 The Empress of Chinatown 224

22 San Francisco Satyricon 233

23 Civic War 248

24 Inside Man 267

25 Slouching Toward San Francisco 275

26 Prophet of Doom 284

27 Exodus 290

28 Rapture in the Jungle 298

29 The Reckoning 305

30 A Tale of Two Cities 311

31 Day of the Gun 322

Part 3 Deliverance 337

32 Fire by Trial 339

33 The Center Holds 350

34 Strange Angels 358

35 Playing Against God 376

36 The City of Saint Francis 387

Epilogue 405

Season of the Witch Playlist 407

Sources 409

Index 429

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Exhaustive research yields penetrating character studies…Talbot incisively relates the atmosphere of service in the Haight…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.” — Publishers Weekly

“Talbot presents gripping accounts of both crime sprees and football showdowns. Even people who were there might take away something new, and for others, the book offers a comprehensive introduction to the era.” —Booklist

“A gritty corrective to our rosy memories…enthralling, news-driven and briskly paced tale... I found it hard to put down Season of the Witch." —San Francisco Chronicle

“An ambitious, labor-of-love illumination of a city’s soul, celebrating the uniqueness of San Francisco without minimizing the price paid for the city’s free-spiritedness… the author encompasses the city’s essence… Talbot loves his city deeply and knows it well, making the pieces of the puzzle fit together, letting the reader understand…Talbot takes the reader much deeper than cliché, exploring a San Francisco that tourists never discover.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Bigrider7 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book details the heavily interwoven story of how San Francisco became the national beacon of liberalism and the tremendous costs that the city endured along the way, in an attempt to maintain it's lofty idealism.Beginning with the incredibly interesting career of attorney/activist Vince Hallinan, Talbot traces the emergence of liberalism in San Francisco as staid forces like Catholic church and the local political establishment provided continual road blocks at every turn.Talbot's book passes through the Summer of Love and sheds light upon, in great detail, the amazing confluence of events that occurred in 1970's San Francisco: The Zodiac Killer, The SLA/Patty Hearst kidnapping, Jim Jones and People's Temple, Dan White and the murder of Harvey Milk.Throughout these horrific events, not only does the interconnectedness of the San Francisco criminal underground, cultural and artistic communities, community organizers, and local politicians become apparent, but their collective ability to regroup and rise above, in San Francisco's own unique way is a recurring theme.Anyone remotely interested in 60's popular culture, gay and lesbian culture, radical politics, true crime, or (tangentially) sports, will find some interesting anecdotes to savor here.
Anonymous 10 months ago
An excellent cultural history. Engagingly written
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Talbot’s well written and insightful book provides an entertaining and enlightening look at the recent history of the city of San Francisco. From the 1950s and 1960s, when the city began to shape its identity as a haven for iconoclasts and “alternative” types through the turbulence of the 1970s to the both admirable and regrettable developments of the end of the twentieth century, Talbot’s critical eye reports on the good, the bad, and the very ugly. Although the author eschews the temptation to romanticize San Francisco’s multidimensional history, he acknowledges all the best that the city has to offer as he portrays the struggles and hardships that many readers might not be aware of—for example, the racial divide that vexed the city for much of the 1970s and the uneasy political partnerships that existed between venerable liberal figures like Mayor George Moscone, Harvey Milk, and the Peoples Temple, Jim Jones’ suicide cult, which once held an eerie degree of political power in the city. Talbot devotes large sections of the book to the SLA and its abduction of Patty Hearst, San Francisco’s evolution as the gay capital of the US (if not the world), the strange ordeal of the Peoples Temple, Dan White’s assassination of Moscone and Milk, Dianne Feinstein’s political ascension, and other bits of history both profound (the Zebra murders) and uplifting (the 49ers’ triumph as NFL champions). Overall, a compelling examination of the city of San Francisco, and a must-read for anyone who lives there or who has ever been curious about the city’s unique appeal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was difficult to put this book down. If you or someone you know has a deep love for San Francisco and you want to take a journey on how the city has evolved and changed since the Summer of Love and to understand the power of a city I guarantee you will love how Talbot presents the best city in the states
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Especially recommended for anyone in or attached to the SF bay area
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zee_Grega More than 1 year ago
Extremely well written book that manages to cover a lot of ground without sacrificing any of it. San Francisco has had a fascinating history with a past that continues to resonate today, not just in the Bay Area but throughout the USA and even the world. Talbot bring to vivid life some of the most interesting characters ever recorded: you couldn't make up lives as exciting as these. Talbot doesn't just recite dry facts - he tells the stories behind the history and shows how and why they were so important..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book extremely interesting. I have lived in the San Franciso Bay Area all my life so the history this book presented was especially interesting to me. I found out things I hadn't known before and also found some things I thought I did were actually wrong. Good reading.