Counter-Cultural Studies
The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond
The 60s Communes
Hippies and Beyond
Paperback      ISBN: 081560601x

The greatest wave of communal living in American history crested in the tumultuous 1960s era including the early 1970s. To the fascination and amusement of more decorous citizens, hundreds of thousands of mostly young dreamers set out to build a new culture apart from the established society. Widely believed by the larger public to be sinks of drug-ridden sexual immorality, the communes both intrigued and repelled the American people. The intentional communities of the 1960s era were far more diverse than the stereotype of the hippie commune would suggest. A great many of them were religious in basis, stressing spiritual seeking and disciplined lifestyles. Others were founded on secular visions of a better society. Hundreds of them became so stable that they survive today. This book surveys the broad sweep of this great social yearning from the first portents of a new type of communitarianism in the early 1960s through the waning of the movement in the mid-1970s. Based on more than five hundred interviews conducted for the 60s Communes Project, among other sources, it preserves a colorful and vigorous episode in American history. The book includes an extensive directory of active and non-active communes, complete with dates of origin and dissolution.

Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel
Abbie Hoffman
American Rebel
Paperback      ISBN: 0813520177

In this sympathetic history of a maligned decade, Marty Jezer, a fellow antiwar activist, details Abbie Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, & above all, his incurable & still contagious optimism. He presents a thoughtful, solidly researched biography of the wildly creative & iconoclastic Yippie, portraying Hoffman as a fresh force in American political culture. Jezer surveys in detail the politics, philosophies, & struggles of the antiwar movement.

"... Abbie, more than any other radical, showed potheads how to demonstrate and radicals how to dance." -- Chicago Tribune

"... deeply sympathetic and scrupulously detached-a triumph of judicious empathy." -- MARTIN DUBERMAN, Distinguished Professor of History, Lehman/The Graduate School, C.U.N.Y.

"... details Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, and above all, his Incurable and still contagious optimism." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Here's the Abbie I knew and loved Marty Jezer has captured him in all his complexity, dedication, humor, and heart." -- ANITA HOFFMAN
The Acid Diaries: A Psychonaut's Guide to the History and Use of LSD
The Acid Diaries
A Psychonaut's Guide to the History and Use of LSD
Paperback      ISBN: 1594773831

An exploration of the personal and spiritual truths revealed through LSD

- Reveals that LSD visions weave an ongoing story from trip to trip

- Shows that trips progress through three stages: personal issues and pre-birth consciousness, ego-loss, and on to the sacred

- Explores psychedelic use throughout history, including the mass hallucinations common in the Middle Ages and the early therapeutic use of LSD

Toward the end of his fifties, Christopher Gray took, for the first time in years, a 100-microgram acid trip. So extraordinary, and to his surprise so enjoyable, were the effects that he began to take the same dose in the same way--quietly and on his own--once every two to three weeks.

In The Acid Diaries, Gray details his experimentation with LSD over a period of three years and shares the startling realization that his visions were weaving an ongoing story from trip to trip, revealing an underlying reality of personal and spiritual truths. Following the theories of Stanislav Grof and offering quotes from others' experiences that parallel his own--including those of Aldous Huxley, Albert Hofmann, and Gordon Wasson--he shows that trips progress through three stages: the first dealing with personal issues and pre-birth consciousness; the second with ego-loss, often with supernatural overtones; and the third with sacred, spiritual, and even apocalyptic themes. Pairing his experiences with an exploration of psychedelic use throughout history, including the ergot-spawned mass hallucinations that were common through the Middle Ages and the early use of LSD for therapeutic purposes, Gray offers readers a greater understanding and appreciation for the potential value of LSD not merely for transpersonal growth but also for spiritual development.
Acid Trips and Chemistry
Acid Trips and Chemistry
Paperback      ISBN: 1579510116
More people are using acid today than at any time since the 1960s. This book summarizes everything that is known about this potent psychedelic drug: what an acid trip is like, how LSD was discovered, what forms are currently available on the underground market, how to produce the drug, and much more -- including, of course, caveats about acid and the law.
Afterburn: Reflections on Burning Man
Afterburn
Reflections on Burning Man
Paperback      ISBN: 0826333990

The Burning Man Festival is a weeklong spasm of radical self-expression held annually just before Labor Day since 1986. In late August 2003, more than 33,000 participants converged in Nevada's Black Rock Desert for this counterculture event staged as an experiment in temporary community.

The participants gather to rid themselves of the conventional structures of their life and to "sample" the alternatives in hundreds of theme camps. The climax of the festival comes when attendees erupt into cheers and applause at the burning of a forty-foot-tall human effigy described as "part pre-technological idol and part post-technological puppet."

AfterBurn contributor Erik Davis writes of the festival, "Ironic and blasphemous, intoxicated and lewd, Burning Man's ADD theater of the absurd might even be said to embody the slap-happy nihilism of postmodern culture itself."

CounterCulture series editor David Farber summarizes the significance of the event: " Burning Man is] spiritual discovery, utopian experiment, artistic spectacle, participatory democracy, do-it-yourself anarchism, and communitarian adventure." AfterBurn features ten essayists each addressing a specific aspect of the festival, from the recruitment and management of volunteers, to the artistic and cultural context of the modern conception of Utopia.

Both Lee Gilmore and Mark Van Proyen have attended Burning Man annually since 1996.

Among the Thugs
Among the Thugs
Paperback      ISBN: 0679745351

They have names like Barmy Bernie, Daft Donald, and Steamin' Sammy. They like lager (in huge quantities), the Queen, football clubs (especially Manchester United), and themselves. Their dislike encompasses the rest of the known universe, and England's soccer thugs express it in ways that range from mere vandalism to riots that terrorize entire cities. Now Bill Buford, editor of the prestigious journal Granta, enters this alternate society and records both its savageries and its sinister allure with the social imagination of a George Orwell and the raw personal engagement of a Hunter Thompson.

The Anarchist Cookbook
The Anarchist Cookbook
Paperback      ISBN: 0974458902

Perhaps the most notorius How To manual on the market. This is the most asked for book that we know of. Is it any good? Well, it's now in its 29th printing since 1971, has chapters on home preparation of weapons, electronics, drugs, and explosives. Extensively illustrated, 8.5 x 11, 160 pp., softcover.

The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, Ufos, Evolut
The Archaic Revival
Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, Ufos, Evolut
Paperback      ISBN: 0062506137

Cited by the L.A. Weekly as the culture's foremost spokesman for the psychedelic experience, Terrence McKenna is an underground legend as a brilliant raconteur, adventurer, and expert on the experiential use of mind-altering plants.

In these essays, interviews, and narrative adventures, McKenna takes us on a mesmerizing journey deep into the Amazon as well as into the hidden recesses of the human psyche and the outer limits of our culture, giving us startling visions of the past and future.
Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968
Astral Weeks
A Secret History of 1968
Paperback      ISBN: 0735221367
A mind-expanding dive into a lost chapter of 1968, featuring the famous and forgotten: Van Morrison, folkie-turned-cult-leader Mel Lyman, Timothy Leary, James Brown, and many more

Van Morrison's Astral Weeks is an iconic rock album shrouded in legend, a masterpiece that has touched generations of listeners and influenced everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Martin Scorsese. In his first book, acclaimed musician and journalist Ryan H. Walsh unearths the album's fascinating backstory--along with the untold secrets of the time and place that birthed it: Boston 1968.

On the 50th anniversary of that tumultuous year, Walsh's book follows a criss-crossing cast of musicians and visionaries, artists and hippie entrepreneurs, from a young Tufts English professor who walks into a job as a host for TV's wildest show (one episode required two sets, each tuned to a different channel) to the mystically inclined owner of radio station WBCN, who believed he was the reincarnation of a scientist from Atlantis. Most penetratingly powerful of all is Mel Lyman, the folk-music star who decided he was God, then controlled the lives of his many followers via acid, astrology, and an underground newspaper called Avatar.

A mesmerizing group of boldface names pops to life in Astral Weeks James Brown quells tensions the night after Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated; the real-life crimes of the Boston Strangler come to the movie screen via Tony Curtis; Howard Zinn testifies for Avatar in the courtroom. From life-changing concerts and chilling crimes, to acid experiments and film shoots, Astral Weeks is the secret, wild history of a unique time and place.

One of LitHub's 15 Books You Should Read This March

The Book of Highs: 255 Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs
The Book of Highs
255 Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs
Paperback      ISBN: 0761193871
Blow Your Mindfulness

An encyclopedia for the curious and courageous, The Book of Highs catalogs the hundreds of ways humans can alter consciousness, minus drugs and alcohol.

Drawn from cultures around the world, here are positive techniques--Self-Hypnosis, Alterations of Breathing, Fervent Prayer, Spinning. And here are "negative" techniques--Self-Flagellation, Sleep Deprivation, Fire Walking. Methods derived from religious and mystic traditions--Transcendental Meditation, Tea Ceremony, Tantric Sex. Methods that use devices, from the domestic Metronome Watching, to the state-of-the-art Brain-Wave Biofeedback, Electrodermal Activity (EDA), Ganzfeld Effect, and Psychedelic Bathtub.

Whether you're looking for a life-changing adventure--like Skydiving--or something to do every day, just to change things up--like Zen Morning Laugh--The Book of Highs will get you there.