From Publishers Weekly
This detailed account of the career and influence of the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann captures the character but not the brilliance of its subject. Born in 1906, Hofmann's life spans over a period of unprecedented technological change and industrial advancement but marred by the devastation of the world wars. Hagenbach and Wertmuller cover Hofmann's early discoveries up to the twenty-fifth attempt at a derivative, the one that would make him famous and infamous, LSD-25. They follow the thread of his discovery into 1960s, the Beats, the CIA, and further, including the eventual imprisonment of users, many of whom Hofmann contacted sympathetically. At times the book comes across as pre-emptively defensive, written like a strange leaflet handed out in the street. The authors fail to sound credible, for example, when describing a conference attended by "more than eighty well-known scientists, drug experts, artists and observers from around the world." Dozens of boxed quotes- from random cultural figures of the time-distract from the main text and undermine the authors' attempt at a comprehensive biographical or even cultural study.
"Albert Hofmann's discovery of LSD, the most potent mind-expanding substance ever found, was an event of multiple synchronicities...the story of LSD and its potential role in society is however far from over." -- Ralph Metzner, Ph. D., Author of The Unfolding Self and Green Psychology
"This book is more than a superb biography of Albert Hofmann, it's the story of LSD and pretty much covers everything of importance in the scientific, social, spiritual and artistic realms that resulted from his epochal discovery." -- Michael Horowitz, Psychoactive Drug Historian, Editor
"Much more interesting than a conventional biography, this book is a grand sweep of how his discovery affected civilization. That they chose to highlight how his work affected vast areas of world culture makes this a reference book as well as a history of one very long and valued life.