Season of the Witch

  • by David Talbot
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 17 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, History, 2013
Season of the Witch is the first book to fully capture the dark magic of San Francisco in this breathtaking period, when the city radically changed itself - 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 Francisco’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.
David Talbot takes us deep into the riveting story of his city’s ascent, decline, and heroic recovery. He draws intimate portraits of San Francisco’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 “San Francisco values”, 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.
As a new generation of activists and dreamers seeks its own path to a more enlightened future, Season of the Witch - with its epic tale of the wild and bloody birth of San Francisco values - offers both inspiration and cautionary wisdom.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Gripping, important history - well told

I *ate* this up - which is not to say it was an easy book to get through. The Bay Area in the 1970s is fascinating, but spooky and disturbing - very violent. Talbot did a great job, very well written book. I loved the accounts of the Diggers and Good Earth Collective, and enjoyed the tales of Hibiscus and the Cockettes. He did a great job with the AIDS crisis.

I couldn't buy the whole 49ers thing. I would have preferred the end to discuss the remaining environmental and public health legacies of the era. His account of Diane Feinstein seemed a bit whitewashed - but the truth is, I don't know.

It was a disturbing, but compulsory read. The People's Temple - the City's complicity with same, is important material.

Maybe the best part was Talbot's handling of the police department.

Great, scary book.

I was not crazy about the narration- which is something I'm picky about. It didn't detract from the story - but it certainly did not add much.
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- J. Cameron "offleash"

Interesting Insights

What did you love best about Season of the Witch?

I liked the behind the scenes glimpses into what was going on in SF

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harvey Milk

What didn’t you like about Arthur Morey’s performance?

Good Grief! Doesn't anyone check the pronunciations of people's names, like Marty Balin? That is just lame and embarrassing. There were others as well..

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

pretty much

Any additional comments?

Audible should be more careful when there are so many errors with the pronunciations of people's names. Spoils the wonder of these marvelous books.

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- Dr. Dream

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-08-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio