REPORTER’S NOTE BOOK

A San Francisco Chronicle
Journalist’s Diary of the
Shocking Seventies

In Reporter’s Note Book, Duffy Jennings weaves the political, criminal, public, and personal events of the 1970s into a masterful reflection on the heart of a turbulent Bay Area.

In this powerful narrative, Duffy paints a dramatic portrait of a time and place that is by turns exceptionally dramatic and poignant, all bolstered by his uncanny memory and tender wit.

Among Duffy’s assignments: political assassinations, serial murders, major fires, gangland crime, labor union strife, city government news and more.

Duffy’s front page coverage included the 1978 city hall killings, the shocking trial of Dan White, the Zebra murders, the Patty Hearst kidnap, taunting letters from the Zodiac killer, and life as an embedded reporter with fire fighters and homicide detectives.

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REPORTER’S NOTE BOOK


From a sixty-two-dollar-a-week copyboy to reporting on the most shocking stories of the time, Duffy Jennings takes us into the maelstrom of the Bay Area in upheaval in the 1970s.

Click to read excerpts from Reporter’s Note Book:
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The Chronicle

Meeting Abe Mellinkoff was as much a sensory experience for me as seeing that perfect, green Yankee Stadium grass for the first time.

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Shirt-Sleevers

In those days, drinking at lunch was customary throughout the business world, and the so-called “three-martini lunch” was a common practice.

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I Am Not Avery

Two months after the Marin shootout, on October 28, 1970, Zodiac threatened Chronicle reporter Paul Avery directly in a Halloween card.

PRAISE FOR
REPORTER’S NOTE BOOK

Duffy Jennings’ riveting coverage of the Moscone-Milk murders and the Dan White trial was an arduous reporting job and daily journalism at its finest. His account of a reporter’s life makes for vivid reading.

David Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle City Editor, 1977-1978

Duffy Jennings’ memoir of the turbulent ’60s and ’70s in the Bay Area is incisive and compelling. There is a “Forrest Gump” feel to how he was at the center of so many major events. Anyone who has experienced the horrors of addiction will find his experiences with the effect of alcohol to be enlightening. Jennings’ recollections of his mother’s gay bar in San Francisco are priceless.

Leigh Steinberg, Sports Agent

Duffy Jennings wrote more than 500 stories for the San Francisco Chronicle, but he may have saved the best one — his own — for last. Written with admirable skill and moral clarity, his memoir reveals what it was like to cover a city gripped by the Zodiac and Zebra killings, Jonestown, the Moscone-Milk assassinations, and the Dan White trial. But this isn’t only a sharp, vivid snapshot of a city in crisis. It’s also a family saga that defies stereotypes at every turn.

Peter Richardson, SFSU lecturer

Duffy Jennings brings the reader inside the San Francisco Chronicle newsroom directly to his reporter’s typewriter to present valuable insights into events during the most turbulent, chaotic decade in San Francisco’s modern history. He adds a very gutsy human dimension with intense and painful personal revelations even as he was writing the stories that mesmerized us during his prolific career.

Art Agnos, former Mayor of San Francisco
Duffy Jennings award from Int'l Association of Fire Fighters
Duffy Jennings fireman
Duffy Jennings Speaking Engagements

MORE PRAISE

  • In this insightful retrospective, Jennings’ writing today is as fresh, compact and compelling as it was during his time as the Chron’s go-to front-page scribe. Jennings tells his story with an unflinching eye buoyed by raw honesty and introspection. This nexus of fascinating biography and authentic journalism makes for a page-turning read that will not only move you, but will have you wishing for more when it ends. R.K.

  • Duffy Jennings gives us an unsparing look at what it was like covering this crap show for the Chronicle while trying to maintain his mental balance as his coldly brilliant mother was slowly drinking herself to death with regular flourishes of suicide threats and genuine attempts. J.J.C.

  • For me, a Northern California Boomer who grew up in the 60s & 70s, Jennings nailed what it felt like to live through those crazy times. I can’t recommend this book enough! R.G.S.

  • It is the book all journalists wish they could have written, but we don’t have Duffy Jennings’ talent. Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Why the heck not?  J.Y.

  • It’s a triumph as a memoir and a brilliant account of his time at the San Francisco Chronicle back in the paper’s heyday in the roaring 1970s. K.L.

  • Duffy Jennings stands out as a gifted reporter who made the most of his unique perspective, skill, access, craftsmanship, and opportunities. His accounts are as vivid today as they were when he wrote them in the 70s, with the added bonus of today’s context. A terrific read. D.H.

  • Seeing the big stories of the decade through the eyes of someone who was in the middle of it all is a rare opportunity. M.S.

  • “The ten days in November, 1978” left me so moved I had to stop and catch my breath….and wipe my eyes, too. G.W.E.

  • It’s a compelling read that kept me up late for a couple of nights because I couldn’t put it down, and it has a heart-warming ending that left me smiling. P.G.Z.

Duffy Jennings award from Int'l Association of Fire Fighters
Duffy Jennings speaking engagements

REPORTER’S NOTE BOOK


GET YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY HERE!
$22 / Includes Shipping & Handling

MEDIA REVIEWS

MEET DUFFY JENNINGS

Joint Venture Silicon Valley

AN UNVARNISHED LOOK AT SAN FRANCISCO IN THE 1970S

Popdose Book Review

DUFFY JENNINGS TALKS ABOUT THE ’70S, THE CHRONICLE AND MORE IN NEW BOOK

San Francisco Chronicle

DUFFY’S TV APPEARANCES


On Marin TV: Retired reporter and author Duffy Jennings discusses his new book Reporter’s Note Book and recalls his times writing for the San Francisco Chronicle with Peter B. Collins.

“The Game” with Mark Simon and Kevin Mullin

“Talk of the Town” featuring Duffy Jennings

DUFFY’S PUBLIC APPEARANCES

COMMONWEALTH CLUB

A prize-winning writer for the San Francisco Chronicle in the tumultuous 1970s, Duffy Jennings covered the Patty Hearst kidnapping, the Zodiac and Zebra serial murders, and the City Hall assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Jennings also covered major fires, gangland crime, labor union strife, city government news and more. In Reporter’s Note Book, Jennings weaves the political, criminal, public and personal events of the 1970s into a masterful reflection on the heart of a turbulent Bay Area, all bolstered by his uncanny memory and tender wit.

REPORTER’S NOTE BOOK


GET YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY HERE!
$22 / Includes Shipping & Handling