Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond

By Martin A. Lee, Bruce Shlain

Few occasions have had a extra profound influence at the social and cultural upheavals of the Sixties than the psychedelic revolution spawned by way of the unfold of LSD. This publication for the 1st time tells the complete and marvelous story—part of it hidden until eventually now in mystery govt files—of the position the mind-altering drug performed in our fresh turbulent heritage and the continued effect it has on our time.

And what a narrative it truly is, starting with LSD’s discovery in 1943 because the such a lot powerful drug recognized to technological know-how till it spilled into public view a few 20 years later to set the degree for one of many nice ideological wars of the last decade. within the intervening years the CIA had introduced a big covert learn software within the wish that LSD could function an espionage weapon, psychiatric pioneers got here to think that acid could make clear the complicated difficulties of psychological ailment, and a brand new new release of writers and artists had given beginning to the LSD sub-culture.

Acid goals is an entire social background of the psychedelic counter-culture that burst into complete view within the Sixties. With new info acquired during the Freedom of knowledge Act, the authors display how the CIA turned keen about LSD throughout the chilly conflict, fearing the Soviets had designs on it to boot. What follows is without doubt one of the more unusual episodes within the covert heritage of U.S. intelligence because the look for a “truth drug” started to resemble a James Bond situation within which brokers spied on drug-addicted prostitutes via two-way mirrors and numerous unwitting electorate bought acid with occasionally tragic results.

The tale took a brand new flip while Captain Al Hubbard, the 1st of a chain of “Johnny Appleseeds” of acid, started to activate millions of scientists, businessmen, church figures, policemen, and others from various walks of life.

Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat new release, the Diggers and the Age of Golden Anarchy in Haight-Ashbury, William Mellon Hitchcock, Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, the Beatles—these are only a few of a motley solid of characters who stride in the course of the pages of this compelling chronicle. What impression did the frequent use of LSD have at the anti-war flow of the overdue Sixties? Acid desires lines the way in which the drug intensified each one degree of counter-cultural transition to damage the “mind-forged manacles” of a brand new new release in rebellion.

In Acid goals, Martin Lee and Bruce Shalin have written the background of a time nonetheless purely dimly understood. The occasions they recount and the proof they discover provide a huge lacking piece of the puzzle of a vital decade in our contemporary past.


“Engaging all through. . . . immediately unique and disturbing.”—Andrew Weil, M.D., The Nation

“Marvelously particular . . . loaded with startling revelations.”—Los Angeles day-by-day News

“Excellent. . . . fascinating. . . . A generalist’s historical past that are meant to substitute all others.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A landmark contribution to the sociopolitical background of the U.S. . . . a number of the liveliest, such a lot soaking up, best-documented old analyses to seem lately. . . . A seminal contribution to realizing America’s such a lot turbulent smooth decade.”—Choice

“This humorous and irreverent booklet brings all of it back.”—The Washington Post

“Recounts probably the most weird and wonderful incidents within the historical past of U.S. intelligence.”—The Boston Globe

“A enormous social background of psychedelia.”—The Village Voice

“A blistering exposé of CIA drug experimentation on americans. It’s all there.”—John Stockwell

“Highly readable. . . . good researched. . . . jam-packed with exciting and weird episodes.”—The Detroit loose Press

“An vital research of cultural heritage. . . . The scholarship is beautiful and the tools sensible.”—Allen Ginsberg

“An engrossing account of a interval . . . while a tiny psychoactive molecule affected virtually each point of Western life.”—William S. Burroughs

“A lacking hyperlink, a piece of wrestle background, a devastating mix of proof and poetry that's certain to arouse controversy.”—Paul Krassner

“An very important old synthesis of the unfold and results of a drug that served as a significant metaphor for an era.”—John Sayles

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They chided different lefties for being stodgy, uninteresting, and fixated on social versions (Cuba, China, Vietnam) that had little relevance to the location within the usa. The aim of revolution, so far as the Diggers have been involved, used to be now not purely to grab the wealth hoarded via a handful of the wealthy and unfold it one of the hapless plenty. an easy transference of energy, a redistribution of items already valued, constituted just a measure of liberation. At top it was once a prelude to an total transformation of values culminating in a rebel opposed to the very suggestions of energy, estate, and hierarchy. The Diggers sensed a massive chance within the mid-1960s to scan with what postindustrial society may perhaps seem like assuming the human species survived its subsequent cataclysmic second. even though the correct beneficial properties of this new social order have been by no means constantly articulated, you'll start by way of postulating the abolition of the department among hard work and relaxation, in order that the common sense of the sport once more took priority in human affairs. It used to be a video game they performed for retains. "Western society has destroyed itself," acknowledged the Digger Papers. "The tradition is extinct. Politics are as lifeless because the tradition they supported. Ours is the 1st skirmish of a tremendous fight, countless in its implications. " 136 Tough, charismatic, and streetwise, the Diggers illuminated the Haight with wild strokes of inventive genius. In appearing out their model of another society, they emerged because the avant-garde of yank anarchism, a homespun culture that went again to the former century and had lately taken a detour via psychedelics. For the Diggers LSD was once "hard kicks," a manner of extending oneself to the sides of lifestyles the place anything excellent and striking could take place. Acid imbued their eyes with a visionary gleam and supplied the space that enabled them to work out how they matched up opposed to the grand scheme of lifestyles. however the Diggers by no means copped to the proposal that every thing will be groovy if everybody became on. The Oracle's transcendental twaddle struck them as vapid and elitist. They scoffed at those that took medications to find the hidden fact and secret of being. The Diggers seen acid when it comes to own success, yet consistently inside a social context. They have been extra activist-oriented than revelatory; issues have been genuine while humans did them, and what they did needed to relate to the fundamentals: nutrition, garments, preserve, creativity. As a counterpoint to the obscure love ethic of the flower young ones, they promoted the no-nonsense ethic of "FREE! " once they all started serving loose nutrients within the Panhandle within the autumn of 1966, it wasn't a one-shot exposure stunt. This Robin Hood regimen really persevered every day for greater than a yr. Any hippie—or instantly, for that matter—who used to be hungry simply needed to appear on the park at 4:00 P. M. , stroll via a wide orange scaffold (a "Free body of Reference"), and chow down. The Diggers additionally organize a unfastened shop, which disbursed a variety of "liberated items" (most of which were donated by way of neighborhood shopkeepers).

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