Ten Years that Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-1978, an anthology by several dozen authors, worked exceptionally well for reading when exhausted; it's a multifaceted story of our fascinating city broken into bite size chunks. I lived San Francisco's Seventies so much of the terrain was familiar. It's easy to be nostalgic about a time of such energy, invention and sense that we could build the world anew -- or maybe my friends and I were just naive. But living was cheap and innovation abounded. There was much that seems ugly in retrospect: the People's Temple role in the city culminating in mass murder/suicide in particular. But the novel notion of gay freedom took center stage (and many of us needed all the liberation we could get!), the Mission wrestled with its Latin identity and many people experimented with alternative ways of making a living besides working for "the man."
And there are accomplishments that continue to set the tone of the city. I've written elsewhere about how San Bruno Mountain was preserved as open space because of some crazy environmentalists of that time. But this, from political activist Calvin Welch just floored me. Pretty much of anyone middle class and poorer who remains in San Francisco owes their ability to stay to the struggles of that era.
Take that Downtown financial barons! We still believe and struggle for a city that should belong to its working people, not just socialites and financiers.