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

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9781439108215: Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love

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.

Salon 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.

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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.

Review:

Season of the Witch is an enthralling — and harrowing — account of how the 1967 Summer of Love gave way to 20 or so winters of discontent. An undercurrent of rock music runs through the book...Some of the artists, such as the Dead and the Jefferson Airplane, still get airplay. Others enjoyed fleeting fame. Season of the Witch, however, is good enough to last." —Washington Post

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

“[A] sprawling, ambitious history... Talbot’s energetic, highly entertaining storytelling conveys the exhilaration of ’60s counterculture as well as the gathering ugliness that would mark the city in the ’70s.” —Boston Globe

"Talbot's book is a gritty, poetic Valentine to the city by the bay as it emerged as a fantasia of ethnic, cultural, sexual, intellectual and social liberation. Talbot doesn't back off from having literary flowers in his hair recounting some of the halcyon days of the summer of love, but he also chronicles the city's many problems with a heavy dose of hardboiled reporter noir. " —Huffington Post

“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 (starred review)

“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


"Fascinating...[the] absorbing, breakneck story of how the City by the Bay fought off its demons in the 1970s and '80s and emerged with enlightened values intact." —Portland Oregonian

"Excellent...Talbot's account of the rise of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple religious movement is absolutely masterful, allowing the reader to see just how and why this unstable preacher achieved such prominence. Talbot not only gives us a nuanced account of the city that he clearly loves, but he also gives us a cultural history of late-20th-century America."—Milwaukee Shepard-Express

"Talbot's new book delves to impressive depths in tracing the city's transformation from parochial backwater to countercultural beacon... the Salon founder deftly sketches portraits of hippies, politicos, and rights activists who forged our 'San Francisco values' and in the process rescues some old icons from obscurity... a compulsively entertaining page-turner... A useful lesson for our Occupied times: Change is hard, but it's possible." —San Francisco Magazine

"A fresh, fun, vigorous look at a strange American city David Talbot knows well and loves with irony." —Oliver Stone

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