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David Talbot and Margaret Talbot

April 8, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

celebrating the launch of their new book

By The Light Of Burning Dreams: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Second American Revolution

published by Harper Collins

New York Times bestselling author David Talbot and New Yorker journalist Margaret Talbot illuminate “America’s second revolutionary generation” in this gripping history of one of the most dynamic eras of the twentieth century—brought to life through seven defining radical moments that offer vibrant parallels and lessons for today.


This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.


Event is free, but registration is required


(CLICK HERE) to register. Link to be posted.


(CLICK HERE) to purchase book. Link to be posted.


The political landscape of the 1960s and 1970s was perhaps one of the most tumultuous in this country’s history, shaped by the fight for civil rights, women’s liberation, Black power, and the end to the Vietnam War. In many ways, this second American revolution was a belated fulfillment of the betrayed promises of the first, striving to extend the full protections of the Bill of Rights to non-white, non-male, non-elite Americans excluded by the nation’s founders.

Based on exclusive interviews, original documents, and archival research, By the Light of Burning Dreams explores critical moments in the lives of a diverse cast of iconoclastic leaders of the twentieth century radical movement: Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers; Heather Booth and the Jane Collective, the first underground feminist abortion clinic; Vietnam War peace activists Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda; Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers; Craig Rodwell and the Gay Pride movement; Dennis Banks, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Russell Means and the warriors of Wounded Knee; and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s politics of stardom. Margaret and David Talbot reveal the epiphanies that galvanized these modern revolutionaries and created unexpected connections and alliances between individual movements and across race, class, and gender divides.

America is still absorbing—and reacting against—the revolutionary forces of this tumultuous period. The change these leaders enacted demanded much of American society and the human imagination. By the Light of Burning Dreams is an immersive and compelling chronicle of seven lighting rods of change and the generation that engraved itself in American narrative—and set the stage for those today, fighting to bend forward the arc of history.

David Talbot is the author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and the acclaimed national bestseller Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love. He is the founder and former editor in chief of Salon, and was a senior editor at Mother Jones and the features editor at the San Francisco Examiner. He has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, The Guardian, and other major publications. Talbot lives in San Francisco, California.

Margaret Talbot joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2004. Previously, she was a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and, from 1995 to 1999, an editor at The New Republic. Her stories, covering legal issues, social policy, and popular culture, have appeared, in addition to in the Times Magazine and The New Republic, in The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, and the Times Book Review. She was one of the founding editors of Lingua Franca and was a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. In 1999, she received a Whiting Writer’s Award. She is the author of “The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father’s Twentieth Century,” about Lyle Talbot, her father.

Advance Praise for By The Light Of Burning Dreams:

By the Light of Burning Dreams crackles with the radical energy of the 1960s and 70s. It’s a shot in the arm of bold idealism, an indispensable companion for today’s revolutionaries that reminds us what can happen if we dare to believe in – and fight for – a better world.”

  • -Jessica Bruder, author of Nomadland

“An intelligent and sympathetic reappraisal of the political upheavals of the ’60s and’ 70s…. An abundance of fresh material gives this book an intergenerational appeal…. Through sharp reporting and good storytelling, the authors enliven a journalistic genre that in less skilled hands might have gone flat.”

  • Kirkus

“In these linked portraits of activists and radicals at a watershed moment in history, David and Margaret Talbot tell a profound story about idealism in action and the rousing, inspiring, often messy ways in which popular movements and charismatic individuals fight injustice and bring about revolutionary transformation. By turns sweeping and intimate, and built on fresh interviews and original reporting, By the Light of Burning Dreams feels like necessary reading in our own tumultuous moment: an urgent reminder that change can happen and a vivid illustration of how it does.”

  • -Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Say Nothing



April 8, 2021
6:00 pm



City Lights
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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