LearyToday being Dr. Timothy Leary’s birthday it seems appropriate to look at LSD and the affect it has had on writing. LSD was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938 and has been a source for expanding one’s mind ever since. One of the early pioneers was Aldous Huxley. His work entitled ‘The Doors of Perception’ is one of the great master works on his experiences with the drug. By the late fifties the drug was used by most of the beat generation including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and most notably William S. Burroughs. In the sixties Huxley and Dr. Timothy Leary advocated the consumption of LSD as a way to expand the human experience. Leary promoted this with the catch phrase ‘Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out’. Author Ken Kesey teamed with Leary to hold special events where mass groups consumed LSD. These events became known as the Acid Tests. These tests led to possession of LSD becoming an illegal act in the United States on October 24, 1968. That same year the most well known non-fiction work was published, ‘Electric Kool-aid Acid Test’ by Tom Wolfe. The books reception was mixed but it has gone on to be a canon for the time period. Making LSD illegal didn’t stop people from using it; the result was the movement became more underground. Radicals like John Sinclair along with authors such as Peter Matthiessen and Hunter S. Thompson continued to explore the experiences of LSD. In more recent years it has continued to be a mainstay of young writers, a sort of rite of passage to understand the hidden meanings in beat poetry and song. So there you have it, if you would like more info or would like to read works by any of these authors, please stop by for our recommendations.

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