“San Francisco Year Zero” Discussion & Book Signing with Lincoln Mitchell


Date & Time: Saturday, November 2, 2019, 2:00 p.m.

Location: Allendale Branch Library

Address: 1130 S. Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California

Information: (626) 791-7647 or (626) 744-7260

“Lincoln Mitchell presents a new and brilliant understanding of San Francisco, America’s most progressive city, by describing and interpreting its culture through the extraordinary prism of politics, baseball, and the punk rock scene in the seventies.” — Art Agnos, Mayor of San Francisco, 1988-1991

The Baseball Reliquary and the Allendale Branch Library present a book signing and discussion with Lincoln Mitchell, author of San Francisco Year Zero: Political Upheaval, Punk Rock and a Third-Place Baseball Team (2019, Rutgers University Press), on Saturday, November 2, at 2:00 p.m. at the Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena, California. Light refreshments will be served. Copies of the book will be available for $28.00.

Author Lincoln Mitchell with Willie McCovey’s plaque at the National Baseball Hall of Fame

San Francisco Year Zero is the story of San Francisco in 1978, as well as an exploration of how the San Francisco of today, a city of deep contradictions, came into being. San Francisco is now one of the most socially liberal cities in America, but it also has some of the nation’s worst income inequality. It is a playground for tech millionaires, with an outrageously high cost of living, yet it also supports vibrant alternative and avant-garde scenes. So how did the city get this way? Lincoln Mitchell traces the roots of the current situation back to 1978, when three key events occurred: the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk occurring fewer than two weeks after the massacre of Peoples Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana; the explosion of the city’s punk rock scene; and a breakthrough season for the San Francisco Giants. Through these three strands, Lincoln Mitchell explores the rifts between the city’s pro-business and progressive-left politicians, the emergence of Dianne Feinstein as a political powerhouse, the increasing prominence of the city’s LGBT community, punk’s reinvigoration of the Bay Area’s radical cultural politics, and the ways that the Giants helped unify one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the nation. Written from an insider’s perspective, San Francisco Year Zero deftly weaves together the personal and the political, putting a human face on the social upheavals that transformed the City by the Bay.

San Francisco native Lincoln Mitchell teaches in Columbia University’s political science department and is an associate research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. He has authored many books on the former Soviet states, democracy, and baseball, including Baseball Goes West: How the Giants and Dodgers Shaped the Major Leagues.

This program is supported, in part, by a grant to the Baseball Reliquary from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

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