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13 February 2009

March Membership Meeting - Frances Dinkelspiel

March Membership Meeting
Saturday, March 14, 2009
1:00 p.m.
CGS Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, California 94612

The California Genealogical Society is pleased to have local Bay Area author Frances Dinkelspiel as the guest speaker at our March membership meeting. Her book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, is a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller which has been getting rave reviews since its publication by St. Martins Press in November 2008.

Frances will share some of the backstory about how she learned about her great-great-grandfather and the eight years she spent researching and writing the book. Isaias Hellman’s story is a page-turner and a must-read for anyone interested in California history. The book is a who's who of the banking world made even more facinating by the tie-ins to today's financial crisis.

It's fitting that Frances lecture at the CGS Library because a bit of her research was done here - a small bit when compared to the time she spent at the California Historical Society reviewing some forty cartons of material containing over 50,000 pages of archival documents including letters, receipts, copy books, court cases and newspaper articles.

Dinkelspiel is a fifth-generation Californian who grew up in San Francisco. A graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she spent more than twenty years in the newspaper business, working as a general assignment reporter for Syracuse newspapers in upstate New York and the San Jose Mercury News. She has taught at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. Her freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, People Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press and the Los Angeles Times.

Frances is also the author of a literary blog, Ghost Word: Ethereal Thoughts on Books and Writing
Please note that the short membership meeting starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. Frances' talk follows at about 1:20 p.m. She will be available afterward to autograph and sell books. Please arrive early.