Acid Christ: Ken Kesey, LSD, and the Politics of Ecstasy

Mark Christensen, Schaffner (IPG, dist.), $26.95 (440p) ISBN 978-1-936-18200-8
In this fascinating hybrid, Christensen chronicles Kesey, who was turned on to LSD when he volunteered to be a subject in a 1957 CIA-sponsored project testing the effects of "a kaleidoscope of mind-blowing drugs." Kesey stole a large stash and introduced his friends to it, becoming an apostle for hallucinogens. After publishing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, he organized the "Merry Prankster cross-country bus tour," made famous in Tom Wolfe's 1968 bestseller, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the book that inspired a young Christensen to experiment with drugs. By then, Kesey was involved with the Grateful Dead, the Hell's Angels, and the creation of the rock-drug culture. Christensen focuses on the larger-than-life Kesey, '60s icon and enthusiastic proponent of illegal substances ("The American dream was about to be replaced by the American dream state"), using his own experiences to bring the period to exuberant life, and rejecting the illusion that LSD was liberating (he calls it "a loaded gun impossible to aim"). Acid Christ is an excellent cultural history that will also stand, perhaps ironically, as a valuable companion to the very book that inspired him to take drugs. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/23/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 440 pages - 978-1-936182-08-4
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-9801394-4-0
Open Ebook - 456 pages - 978-1-936182-10-7
Paperback - 440 pages - 978-1-936182-27-5
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