Birgit's Reviews > The Harvard Psychedelic Club

The Harvard Psychedelic Club by Don Lattin
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's review
Oct 30, 11

Read in October, 2011

If you've only heard of Timothy Leary as the 'father' of "Tune in, turn on, and drop out" counterculture LSD-addled hippiedom, and have read Huston Smith only in terms of comparative religion classes in college, have no clue who Ram Dass was or is, and know of Andrew Weil only as an old hippie dude who has figured out how to market himself and his products, then you're in for a treat. Their connections going back to Harvard and the very early 1960s make for an interesting read. I am a tad turned off though by the notion that these four men (and nothing else ?) killed the Fifties. A sensationalistic sub-title at best, awarding too much power to just four characters who - as it turns out - were intensely different, with very different takes on things, and in fact had lasting differences of opinions. And were sometimes not very nice people. Why the author would want to give these guys (Leary, Alpert aka Ram Dass and Weil) so much power I fail to understand. There are fundamental generational shifts that happen all the time, and many more people did good work without being as narcissistic as Leary, Alpert or Weil. Smith I'm excluding because he doesn't really fit in with the other three.

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