“An engrossing account” of the history of LSD, the psychedelic 1960s, and the clandestine mind games of the CIA (William Burroughs).
Beginning with the discovery of LSD in 1943, this “monumental social history of psychedelia” tracks the most potent drug known to science—from its use by the government during the paranoia of the Cold War to its spill-over into a revolutionary antiestablishment recreation during the Vietnam War—setting the stage for one of the great ideological battles of the decade (The Village Voice).
In the intervening years, the CIA launched a massive covert research program in the hope that LSD would serve as an espionage weapon; psychiatric pioneers came to believe that acid would shed light on the perplexing problems of mental illness; and a new generation of writers and artists in countercultural transition sought to break the “mind-forged manacles” of a new generation in rebellion—among them, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, the Beatles, Allen Ginsberg, William Mellon Hitchcock, and Abbie Hoffman. Painting an indelible portrait of an unforgettable era and using startling information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Acid Dreams also exposes one of the most bizarre, shocking, and often tragic episodes in American history.
“An important historical synthesis of the spread and effects of a drug that served as a central metaphor for an era.” —John Sayles
“Marvelously detailed . . . loaded with startling revelations.” —Los Angeles Daily News