Few events have had a more profound impact on the social and cultural upheavals of the Sixties than the psychedelic revolution spawned by the spread of LSD. This book for the first time tells the full and astounding story--part of it hidden till now in secret Government files--of the role the mind-altering drug played in our recent turbulent history and the continuing influence it has on our time.And what a story it is, beginning with LSD's discovery in 1943 as the most potent drug known to science until it spilled into public view some twenty years later to set the stage for one of the great ideological wars of the decade. In the intervening years the CIA had 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 had given birth to the LSD sub-culture. Acid Dreams is a complete social history of the psychedelic counter-culture that burst into full view in the Sixties. With new information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the authors reveal how the CIA became obsessed with LSD during the Cold War, fearing the Soviets had designs on it as well. What follows is one of the more bizarre episodes in the covert history of U.S. intelligence as the search for a "truth drug" began to resemble a James Bond scenario in which agents spied on drug-addicted prostitutes through two-way mirrors and countless unwitting citizens received acid with sometimes tragic results. The story took a new turn when Captain Al Hubbard, the first of a series of "Johnny Appleseeds" of acid, began to turn on thousands of scientists, businessmen, church figures, policemen, and others from different walks of life. Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat generation, the Diggers and the Age of Golden Anarchy in Haight-Ashbury, William Mellon Hitchcock, Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, the Beatles--these are just some of a motley cast of characters who stride through the pages of this compelling chronicle. What impact did the widespread use of LSD have on the anti-war movement of the late Sixties? Acid Dreams traces the way the drug intensified each stage of counter-cultural transition to break the "mind-forged manacles" of a new generation in rebellion. In Acid Dreams, Martin Lee and Bruce Shalin have written the history of a time still only dimly understood. The events they recount and the facts they uncover supply an important missing piece of the puzzle of a crucial decade in our recent past.
Praise "Engaging throughout. . . . At once entertaining and disturbing."--Andrew Weil, M.D., The Nation "Marvelously detailed . . . loaded with startling revelations."--Los Angeles Daily News "Excellent. . . . Captivating. . . . A generalist's history that should replace all others."--San Francisco Chronicle "A landmark contribution to the sociopolitical history of the U.S. . . . Some of the liveliest, most absorbing, best-documented historical analyses to appear in recent years. . . . A seminal contribution to understanding America's most turbulent modern decade."--Choice "This funny and irreverent book brings it all back."--The Washington Post "Recounts some of the most bizarre incidents in the history of U.S. intelligence."--The Boston Globe "A monumental social history of psychedelia."--The Village Voice "A blistering expos of CIA drug experimentation on Americans. It's all there."--John Stockwell "Highly readable. . . . Well researched. . . . Filled with entertaining and bizarre episodes."--The Detroit Free Press "An important study of cultural history. . . . The scholarship is exquisite and the methods sensible."--Allen Ginsberg "An engrossing account of a period . . . when a tiny psychoactive molecule affected almost every aspect of Western life."--William S. Burroughs "A missing link, a work of combat history, a devastating combination of facts and poetry that is bound to arouse controversy."--Paul Krassner "An important historical synthesis of the spread and effects of a drug that served as a central metaphor for an era."--John Sayles
"A book that should start a long-overdue national conversation." --Dave BarryWith the F.D.A. agreeing to new trials to test MDMA (better known as Ecstasy) as a treatment for PTSD--which, if approved, could be available as a drug by 2021--Acid Test is leading the charge in an evolving conversation about psychedelic drugs. Despite their current illegality, many Americans are already familiar with their effects. Yet while LSD and MDMA have proven extraordinarily effective in treating anxiety disorders such as PTSD, they still remain off-limits to the millions who might benefit from them. Through the stories of three very different men, award-winning journalist Tom Shroder covers the drugs' roller-coaster history from their initial reception in the 1950s to the negative stereotypes that persist today. At a moment when popular opinion is rethinking the potential benefits of some illegal drugs, and with new research coming out every day, Acid Test is a fascinating and informative must-read.
President Bush has made the war against drugs the number one issue on the contemporary American political agenda. In this revised edition of his classic book, available for the first time in paperback, Edward Jay Epstein argues that the president has adopted the strategy of his forebear, Richard Nixon, in using the drugs war to blame foreigners for the crisis in America's cities, and to provide a smokescreen for unrelated political activity designed to bolster executive power.The drugs crackdown has seen an almost hundredfold increase in the federal budget for narco-politics in the fifteen years since Agency of Fear was first published, while statistics on drug-running have been massaged. Epstein points out that, despite the massive budgets and public relations brouhaha, drug importation, as measured against wholesale price, has in fact grown.
Nearly every American knows someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. Addiction is a trans-partisan issue that impacts individuals from every walk of life. Millions of Americans, tired of watching their loved ones die while politicians ignore this issue. Where is the solution? Where is the hope? Where's the outrage?
Ryan Hampton is a young man who has made addiction and recovery reform his life's mission. Through the wildly successful non-profit organization Facing Addiction, Hampton has been rocketed to the center of America's rising recovery movement--quickly emerging as the de facto leader of the national conversation on addiction. He understands firsthand how easy it is to develop a dependency on opioids, and how destructive it can quickly become. Now, he is waging a permanent campaign to change our way of thinking about and addressing addiction in this country.
Methamphetamine: the quintessential American drug. American housewives, heads of state, businessmen and poets alike have acquired a taste for the yellow, crystalline powder. Everyone from Hitler to President Kennedy to Elvis to Jack Kerouac indulged in one of its many forms, and its presence has been an invisible hand shaping events, preparing the ground for the strangest drug epidemic the world has ever seen. Today methamphetamine is everywhere, and there seems to be no way of stemming its growth.
It is the backbone of Ritalin and the 'club drugs" Ecstasy, Eve and Cat. According to the DEA statistics, approximately four percent of all Americans have used clandestinely manufactured methamphetamine. In the 1960s and 1970s millions of mainstream Americans used and abused prescription amphetamines; today, anyone with a stovetop, a beaker, and a little know-how can make its derivative, methamphetamine, with chemicals purchased at the hardware store and pharmacy down the street.
American Meth is the unprecedented story of a molecule in all of its incarnations, and the deep but little-known impact it has had on American life over the course of the last century. Told from the viewpoint of author Sterling Braswell, whose life has been touched by the drug, American Meth is a deeply personal drama that illuminates the epidemic we live with today.
Acclaimed medical historian Howard Markel traces the careers of two brilliant young doctors--Sigmund Freud, neurologist, and William Halsted, surgeon--showing how their powerful addictions to cocaine shaped their enormous contributions to psychology and medicine.When Freud and Halsted began their experiments with cocaine in the 1880s, neither they, nor their colleagues, had any idea of the drug's potential to dominate and endanger their lives. An Anatomy of Addiction tells the tragic and heroic story of each man, accidentally struck down in his prime by an insidious malady: tragic because of the time, relationships, and health cocaine forced each to squander; heroic in the intense battle each man waged to overcome his affliction. Markel writes of the physical and emotional damage caused by the then-heralded wonder drug, and how each man ultimately changed the world in spite of it--or because of it. One became the father of psychoanalysis; the other, of modern surgery. Here is the full story, long overlooked, told in its rich historical context.
Illuminating a hidden and fascinating chapter in the history of globalization, Paul Gootenberg chronicles the rise of one of the most spectacular and now illegal Latin American exports: cocaine.
Gootenberg traces cocaine's history from its origins as a medical commodity in the nineteenth century to its repression during the early twentieth century and its dramatic reemergence as an illicit good after World War II. Connecting the story of the drug's transformations is a host of people, products, and processes: Sigmund Freud, Coca-Cola, and Pablo Escobar all make appearances, exemplifying the global influences that have shaped the history of cocaine. But Gootenberg decenters the familiar story to uncover the roles played by hitherto obscure but vital Andean actors as well--for example, the Peruvian pharmacist who developed the techniques for refining cocaine on an industrial scale and the creators of the original drug-smuggling networks that decades later would be taken over by Colombian traffickers.
Andean Cocaine proves indispensable to understanding one of the most vexing social dilemmas of the late twentieth-century Americas: the American cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and, in its wake, the seemingly endless U.S. drug war in the Andes.
At the time of its release in 1860, Charles Baudelaire's "Artificial Paradises (Les Paradis Artificiels)" met with immediate praise. One of the most important French symbolists, Baudelaire led a debauched, violent, and ultimately tragic life, dying an opium addict in 1867. This book, a response to Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater, serves as a memoir of Baudelaire's last years.
In this beautifully wrought portrait of the effects of wine, opium, and hashish on the mind, Baudelaire captures the dreamlike visions he experienced during his narcotic trances. These hallucinations, sometimes exquisite, sometimes disturbing, and the delusions of grandeur that often accompanied them, constitute the Paradis Artificiels, the gorgeous yet false worlds of ecstasy that eventually led to his ruin. Contrasting the effects of hashish and opium with those of wine, Baudelaire concludes that "wine exalts the will, hashish destroys it" and makes idlers of all those who use it.
This new translation of a controversial book provides fascinating reading as well as a key to the mind of a great writer.