I Have America Surrounded: A Biography of Timothy Leary
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ISBN 13: 9781905548255
You must be logged in to Tag Records. In the Library Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. Details Collect From YY Order a copy Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. There were a few points where I'd perhaps have liked more detail, but the book concentrated on telling a great story.
The contents page reflects this — there are some fantastic chapter titles. For me, the best biographies are those that include a series of connected anecdotes and episodes, with hindsight putting them into perspective. This book includes some wonderful stories — like the time that the only LSD Leary had access to was dropped in a suitcase.
The drug soaked into Richard Alpert 's white linen suit meaning Leary and friends were "reduced to nibbling the suit when they wanted to trip". Alpert's name was later borrowed for a character from Lost. Or the time when Leary was given a series of psychological papers to decide what category of prison he should be held in — papers he himself had devised.
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There's also some interesting background information. I learned that the codeword came from John Dee , magician and spymaster. The notes have a brief discussion of Dock Ellis , a baseball player who pitched a perfect no-hitter on LSD and there's a mention of R.
Gordon Wasson , an ex-vice-president of JP Morgan. Wasson's hobby was, apparently 'ethnomycology', "the study of mushrooms in human society".
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He went to Mexico to investigate mushroom cults for Life magazine, a trip apparently funded by the CIA. One thing I love about biographies is how they overlap.
I Have America Surrounded A Biography Of Timothy Leary: Link here
Leary gave psychedelic sessions for Burroughs and Ginsberg and was an associate and defence witness for Abbie Hoffman; there's also a weird moment, where Charles Manson criticises some pro-violence statements that Leary made. Timothy Leary was one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. President Nixon called him the most dangerous man in America, while Terence McKenna believed he made more people happy than anyone else in history.
Timothy Leary is a 20th-century American. Grail-seeker Monday, August 19th.
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