The Timothy Leary Project
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Hardcover with Jacket

Publishing Date

272 pages



80 black-and-white photographs

World English


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The Timothy Leary Project

Inside the Great Counterculture Experiment

The first book of Timothy Leary's selected papers and correspondence opens a window on the ideas that inspired the counterculture of the 1960s and the fascination with LSD and other psychedelic drugs that continues to the present. The man who coined the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out," Leary's interests ranged from experimentation with hallucinogens to social change and legal reform to mysticism and spirituality to determining what lies beyond our consciousness.

Through Leary's papers, the reader meets such key figures as Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Marshall McLuhan, Aldous Huxley, Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass), Alan Watts, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Carl Sagan. Included are Jack Kerouac's Trip Reports; Leary's Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality tests; and photographs, posters, broadsides, and flyers related to Leary's eventful journey through the counterculture. That journey took Leary from Harvard to his commune in Millbrook, New York, to the founding of the League for Spiritual Discovery and the sit-ins of the counterculture to the California prison from which he escaped with the aid of the Weathermen to exile in Algeria, and back to Folsom Prison.

Author Jennifer Ulrich organizes this rich material into an annotated narrative of Leary's adventurous life, an epic quest for spiritual discovery that had a lasting impact on American culture. She eloquently sums up Leary's remarkable life:

"No one can argue that Timothy Leary didn't live a full life. He embodied the optimistic American archetype pushing the boundaries in consciousness-expansion and personal freedom. Almost fifty years after being labeled 'the most dangerous man in America,' it is clear that he WAS dangerous-dangerous to the status-quo establishment. Dangerous for trying to make the world a better place in his own way. He represented a change that many in society feared, but the counterculture had already built momentum. Leary was both a participant and a guide. His life took on so many changes, involved a myriad of events-some on a global scale-and touched many people, both personally and publically, as a professor, author, spokesman, activist, prisoner, fugitive, performer, celebrity, and futurist. His legacy will continue to be felt and examined for years to come. After battling cancer, he died among his friends and family at his home in Los Angeles uttering his last word before leaving this world: 'Beautiful."'

About the Author(s)
Jennifer Ulrich, Zach Leary and Michael Horowitz

Jennifer Ulrich is an archivist who spent more than a year working with Timothy Leary's papers at the New York Public Library. Her close collaboration with Leary's family and friends guided her through thousands of items as she curated the collection in this book. She lives in New York City. Timothy Leary's son, Zach Leary, is the host of the "It's All Happening" podcast. Michael Horowitz, who worked with Leary, founded the Fitzhugh Ludlow Memorial Library of drug literature.

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