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Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream Paperback – September 2, 1998
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From Library Journal
Stevens has written a gripping account of the use and abuse of mind-altering drugs in recent decades. He explains the fascination of mescaline and psilocybin for psychologists interested in behaviorial change. He documents the insidious role of the CIA in testing mind-control drugs. He traces the convoluted path of Timothy Leary from his position as research psychologist at Harvard to his role as guru advocating the use of LSD to achieve spiritual utopia. He descibes the outwardly placid social climate of the 1950s, and vividly contrasts the dramatic upheavals of the 60s, sketching pulsing portraits of Allen Ginsberg, Aldous Huxley, and Jack Kerouac. Packed with facts, this is social history at its most compelling. Carol R. Glatt, New Jersey Bioethics Commission, Trenton
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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This very well may be the best book written on the American cultural revolution of the mid-20th century. It goes into great detail laying the groundwork as to how it started and why. From the 1940's to the 1980's Storming Heaven explains how American culture, politics, music and art were transformed by forces acting on it from both sides. On the side of the mainstream culture, the CIA was exploring mind control and the psychiatric community was studying madness by administering as well as taking LSD themselves. While the counterculture was trying to end the war in Vietnam and live beyond the shadow of the generation that preceded it by "dropping acid". Storming Heaven depicts the wave of cultural change that swept through American culture, pruning everything in it's path, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
Two places to get more complete information on the Ontario prisons case are:
Chapter three of Jon Ronson's "The Psychopath Test". Ronson got the first interviews known with the principals since Barker's firing.
A paper by Weisman, Reflections on the Oak Ridge Experiment with Mentally Disordered Offenders, 1965-1968. [...]
If you google the name, you can get the paper for free. There's a lawsuit that has it in full.
Aside from that, this is a good resource I think.
A great deal of time is spent on Timothy Leary, be warned. Storming Heaven was published just as the 1990s psychedelic resurgence was taking off, so aside from a veiled reference to a figure who was probably Alexander Shulgin, that scene's not really covered here.
Jay Stevens' writing is entertaining and educational. The book brought the sixties back to life, when LSD was legal and young people believed they would change the world.
This is a fascinating book, documenting LSD's history and some of the famous and brilliant people that used it, created it, and spread the joy.
For a fascinating look at the drug that everyone was talking about when they said, "Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll", do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this fun trip back in time.