36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond (Paperback)
This one caught me by surprise. It's not the stuffy this-is-all-the-bad-stuff-that-happened textbook I expected, but rather a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable study of LSD and the CIA's role in the cultural and political maelstrom of the 1960s. Over the past thirty years, from Watergate to Zippergate, Americans have learned that their government is capable of some pretty amazing shenanigans. That helps what we read in this book seem more plausible. What Lee and Shlain document in Acid Dreams, with an impressive volume of research, is the CIA's enormous effort to develop mind-control methods. These included various psychedelic drugs--with LSD topping the list--hypnosis, and more. The potential uses of such control range from military to civilian--and to downright bizarre. For example, they discuss the unresolved question--in some minds--of whether Sirhan Sirhan was actually a CIA-created murdering automaton, a drug-and-hypnosis-induced killer, programmed to kill Robert Kennedy.
Some the things they reveal are far-fetched and may be impossible to ever prove one way or another, but there's plenty more that is incontrovertible. And everything in the book is interesting. Acid Dreams adds a fresh and wonderful perspective on this aspect of our recent history. A more recent book called "Hepcats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams," provides a complimentary education on this topic, covering a broader history of illegal drugs throughout America's past. Readers who enjoy Acid Dreams may want to follow up with this one.--Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.