Tuesday, May 23, 2017

the last book I ever read (David Talbot's Season of the Witch, excerpt nine)

from Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot:

At the victory podium, Moscone made a point of calling out to his gay supporters, who had delivered a critical block of voters in the close election. San Francisco, he proclaimed to loud cheers, is liberated territory—a haven that “allows with pleasure gay people walking the streets of the city with freedom from harassment.”

But Moscone’s state-of-the-art field operation could not have succeeded without two organizations that were beginning to make a major impact on San Francisco. “The two institutions that were most helpful in getting George elected were the Delancey Street Foundation and the Peoples Temple,” said Richard Sklar, who became the city infrastructure’s indispensible fix-it man under Moscone. “They each put hundreds of bodies on the streets during the campaign.” Both organizations served society’s rejects, and both were run by charismatic misfits. Delancey Street, a self-help community of addicts and ex-convicts, was founded by John Maher, a Bronx grade school dropout and ex-junkie with a Tammany Hall gift for street politics. The Peoples Temple, a renegade church that ministered to a flock of mostly black lost souls, was run by a more mysterious man, the Reverend Jim Jones.

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