Aquarius Revisited: Seven Who Created the Sixties Counterculture That Changed America

Peter Whitmer, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $19.18 (260p) ISBN 978-0-02-627670-2
Clinical psychologist Whitmer invites readers on a trip down memory lane via interviews with '60s-era mavericks. Psychologist Timothy Leary, whose LSD experiments at Harvard spilled over from the lab into his private life, poet Allen Ginsberg, and writers William Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, Tom Robbins and Hunter S. Thompson reveal the serendipitous nature of their encounters with one another, their clashes with the law and the establishment, bouts of drug abuse, and the relationship between the psychedelic experience and their creativity. Depicted is a 1982 poetry reading by Ginsberg, the audience divided between long-haired '60s devotees and '80s preppies on a class assignment that Whitmer likens to ""spending a day at Peabody Museum looking at pre-Columbian basket weaving for Anthro 1-A.'' His self-indulgent prose, where substance is sacrificed for jazziness, fails to transmit across the generation gap the magic and urgency of the '60s revolution. Photos not seen by PW. (July 27)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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