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Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and th (New)
by Ram Dass
Publisher: Synergetic Press
Book ID: 9780907791386, 0907791387
Usually available in 1-2 weeks
Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties shines a bright light on the exploratory culture of the time and experiments undertaken by Professors Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and then-graduate student Ralph Metzner. Based on a series of recent (2003 to 2005) conversations between the survivors of that distinguished trio, Metzner and Alpert, facilitated by psychiatrist/writer Gary Bravo, the book describes their initial experiments with mind-altering substances while at Harvard. It goes on to cover experiments they conducted after being dismissed from Harvard, their trips to India and their reflections looking back through time at all of the above. It is filled with intriguing photographs marking and illuminating the events brought to life through the text.
Experiment advisors, supporters and participants who appear in the pages of this astonishing account include Aldus Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Arthur Koestler, William Burroughs, and many other well-known personalities from that time period. Other participants include convicts, graduate students, and Vedantist monks. In addition to an overview of the experiments themselves, the conversations in this book offer vividly-recalled descriptions of particular trips, providing many insights into the nature of hallucinogens and the possibility of transcending social conditioning. There are also searingly honest and intensely personal commentaries from some of the remarkable people who were integral to the scene: Peggy Hitchcock, Mellon heiress, close friend of Timothy Leary and prominent Buddhist philanthropist; Dr. George Litwin, Harvard Professor and author; Dr. Gunther M. Weil, psychologist, T'ai Chi trainer, educator and "enlightened business" coach; Dr. Michael Kahn, clinical psychologist, author and Professor Emeritus at USC, Santa Cruz; Dr. Paul A. Lee, ecoptopian educator, Platonic Academy Schoolhouse, Santa Cruz, CA; Poet Dr. Elsa von Eckhartsberg, coauthor of The Ecstatic Adventure; and many more .
No understanding of the history of the sixties would be complete without some grasp of the work of Leary, Alpert and Metzner, the backlash to their experiments, and the way in which drug use became absorbed into society thereafter. Nor can any diligent attempt to study the spectrum of the human mind exclude what we have learned from them about the impact of psychedelic drugs.
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