Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream

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9780060971724: Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream

Storming Heaven is a riveting history of LSD and its influence on American culture. Jay Stevens uses the "curious molecule" known as LSD as a kind of tracer bullet, illuminating one of postwar America's most improbable shadow-histories. His prodigiously researched narrative moves from Aldous Huxley's earnest attempts to "open the doors of perception" to Timothy Leary's surreal experiments at Millbrook; from the CIA's purchase of millions of doses to the thousands of flower children who turned on and burned out in Haight-Ashbury. Along the way, this brilliant, novelistic work of cultural history unites such figures as Allen Ginsberg, Cary Grant, G. Gordon Liddy, and Charles Manson. Storming Heaven irrefutably demonstrates LSD's pivotal role in the countercultural upheavals that shook America in the 1960s and changed the country forever.

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Product Description:

To a generation of psychotherapists, LSD was a door to the unconscious. To the CIA, which purchased enough to turn on 100 million people, it was potentially a mind-control weapon. To Aldous Huxley, it was a force which could push mankind up the evolutionary ladder, a belief inherited by Dr Timothy Leary, who thought LSD would transform America into a spiritual Utopia. "Storming Heaven" begins in scientific investigation and ends in social and cultural revolution. With names like Henry Luce, Cary Grant, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, G Gordon Liddy and Charles Manson, the books examines a force which shaped contemporary America.

From the Back Cover:

The extraordinary story of how LSD evolved from a psychiatric experience to a social and political revolution, 'Storming Heaven' is a brilliant, revelatory investigation into how the powerful hallucinogenic drug has been used and abused. From the first explorations into LSD's psychotic effects by the American establishment to the notorious 'Summer of Love', the positive role of the mind-expanding and creative properties of the drug is a debate that has been raging for over a generation, from Aldous Huxley to Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey to Timothy Leary and Charles Manson. 'Storming Heaven' guides us through an American Dream that was – for many who tuned in, turned on and dropped out – an epic hallucination.

"A valuable historical document."
TIMOTHY LEARY

"A story about the imagination unleashed… full of irony and anecdote."
GUARDIAN

"A fascinating book… aided by an awesome amount of research and detail."
TIME OUT

"A remarkably fluent and intelligent book."
DAVID WIDGERY, 'New Statesman & Society'

"Stevens's narrative moves along at a cracking pace… reads like a good, often funny detective yarn."
NEW SCIENTIST

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