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nowickgray

Educate and Entertain

I like all kinds of books but like any reader, I have my own standards to pick what I call "the best" - i.e., what I like the best. One way to define that further is to call it a combination of style and substance.

Currently reading

Cryptonomicon
Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson
Perdido Street Station
China MiƩville
The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again
Sven Birkerts
Black Brillion
Matthew Hughes
Lake of the Long Sun
Gene Wolfe
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
Elizabeth Gilbert
The Etched City
K.J. Bishop
Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life
Philip Gerard
The Presence
Vickie Schnieders

Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties

Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties - Ram Dass, Richard Alpert, Ralph Metzner This entertaining and firsthand account of those heady days of the sixties sheds light on the intentions, dynamics, trials and errors of the utopian movement led by Timothy Leary and his chief lieutenants, Richard Albert (later Ram Dass) and Ralph Metzner. A clear evolution is painted: from the carefully controlled scientific explorations and academic background of the early phase beginning at Harvard; to the middle years in Mexico and at Millbrook in upstate New York where LSD became a key element of experiments in group living; to the disintegration of the movement under the influence of ego battles, family demands, a trend to indiscriminate drug use, and the inevitable crackdown by officialdom. Along the way we hear live interviews and conversations with Ram Dass and Metzner, interspersed with written excerpts from Leary and some of the other notable consciousness pioneers. Overall the book serves not only as a fascinating chronicle of a unique period of social and cultural history, but also as a tale about the testing of the limits of human potential - the boundless and universal truths accessible with the aid of psychedelics, and the counterbalancing forces of ego and social constraint - the range of possibility we continue to confront half a century later.