By the fall of 1973, the American public was exhausted from the
preceding decade of strife. The Vietnam War was winding down with
the Paris peace talks; the draft was suspended, leaving little for
the protestors to protest. Everything an adolescent found exciting
in life seemed to have been swept away, leaving nothing to
contemplate beyond a lifetime of boredom. Against this backdrop of
disaffected youth, Susan MacAndrews leaves a sheltered life in
suburban Palo Alto to attend San Francisco State University. Susan
and her roommate, Natalie, become friends with Steve and Jerome,
never suspecting the young menas association with the nascent
Symbionese Liberation Army. Tangential Lives traces the paths of
each as they converge and diverge. For Susan, the consequences of
poor choices are often humorous, but for Steve, the results are
tragic after he participates in the kidnaping of Patty Hearst.
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