Acclaimed alum, writer, and web pioneer David Talbot comes to UCSC May 22

Best-selling author and founder of Salon to read from his new book, 'Season of the Witch'

photo of David Talbot
David Talbot (Photo by Sibylla Herbrich)
cover of new book by David Talbot titled Season of the Witch
The UC Santa Cruz Humanities Division and Institute for Humanities Research will present An Evening with David Talbot, Tuesday, May 22, at 4 p.m. in Room 210 of the Humanities 1 building.

Founder of the popular San Francisco-based web magazine Salon, Talbot has been hailed as a “web pioneer” by the New York Times, as well as "one of 50 people who matter most in the new media world" by Newsweek.

The UC Santa Cruz alum (Stevenson '73, sociology) is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, and Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America.

Talbot has additionally written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Time; served as a senior editor for Mother Jones magazine; and was a features editor for the San Francisco Examiner.

Talbot will read from his latest book, Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love—a dynamic story of the turbulent years in San Francisco from 1967 to 1982.

The epicenter of the cultural revolution in the late 1960s, San Francisco was already afflicted with brutal murders, political assassinations, street riots, and a terrifying sexual epidemic by the beginning of the 1980s.

Digging deep into the harrowing story of the city’s ascent, decline, and recovery, Talbot draws intimate portraits of San Francisco’s legendary figures—from Charles Manson, Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army; to Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, and Bill Graham; to Herb Caen, Harvey Milk, Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple; to Joe Montana and the Super Bowl 49ers.

The book is described by Oliver Stone as “a fresh, fun, vigorous look at a strange American city David Talbot knows well and loves with irony.”

Actor and author Peter Coyote noted: “David Talbot is a great story-teller. He writes like an angel and has a reporter’s passion for the truth… He got it all just right and gets closer to describing the lusty, languorous, glamorous, and sometimes lethal Saint named Francisco than anyone I know. The book overflows with gifts. I’m in awe of it.”

Talbot credits UC Santa Cruz with changing his life—opening his eyes and teaching him how to think and work in the real world. As he told a writer a few years back in UCSC’s Review alumni magazine:

"That spirit of jumping into the void and being terrified and exhilarated-all that was familiar to me from my years in college. It really shaped my sense of self, a self that embraces risk as a necessary part of innovation.”

Admission to UCSC’s May 22 event with David Talbot is free and open to the public.

For more information, call (831) 459-3527 or email