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Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream Paperback – 24 May 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; (Reissue) edition (24 May 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586087966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586087961
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

The extraordinary story of how LSD evolved from a psychiatric experience to a social and political revolution, 'Storming Heaven' is a brilliant, revelatory investigation into how the powerful hallucinogenic drug has been used and abused. From the first explorations into LSD's psychotic effects by the American establishment to the notorious 'Summer of Love', the positive role of the mind-expanding and creative properties of the drug is a debate that has been raging for over a generation, from Aldous Huxley to Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey to Timothy Leary and Charles Manson. 'Storming Heaven' guides us through an American Dream that was – for many who tuned in, turned on and dropped out – an epic hallucination.

"A valuable historical document."
TIMOTHY LEARY

"A story about the imagination unleashed… full of irony and anecdote."
GUARDIAN

"A fascinating book… aided by an awesome amount of research and detail."
TIME OUT

"A remarkably fluent and intelligent book."
DAVID WIDGERY, 'New Statesman & Society'

"Stevens's narrative moves along at a cracking pace… reads like a good, often funny detective yarn."
NEW SCIENTIST


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Had you asked your average hippie about beginnings, you would have discovered there were as many as there were hippies-everyone had a favorite chronology. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2012
Format: Paperback
A definitive run through not just of LSD but its impact on Amerikana and its shift in consciousness from both spectrums of a revolt, the right and the left. MK ultra and the secret CIA experiments in liquid Cannabis, the synthesis of LSD from ergot by Hoffman, Mescale, the Mushroom by amateur botanists from Eastern Europe. All becomes embroiled within Huxley, the Beats, Anais Nin and the hundreds of hippies who refused to buy into the dream.

Meanwhile the author excavates the various American phenomenons such as the march to the suburbs in the 50's the desire for conformity after being on the receipt of gindng poverty in the 1940's. Then the utter sterility of the burbs with their indentikit lives and the counter reaction.

As McCarthy set to purge the USA of Communists, the LSD counter reaction was being launched by a small intellectual elite who viewed it as a one way trip to Nirvana. Within the text it has some sound harm reduction advice, such as someone to assist with the trip and coax people out of their reverie and fugue if it begins to nose dive. Setting, suggestion, beliefs and support are absolutely crucial to the event.

He pieces together the links between Leary, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac, Huxley and the various academic adherents who flocked to the LSD seminars at Harvard before it was dispensed to the masses and then demonised. The history of LSD, psilocybin, mescale and peyote all came alive in the book,

It shifts through the sands of history with academic precision in easily digestible prose based on the American experience of lysergia looking at both the pros and cons of the changes in viewing the world.

A thorough journey through the times of the past to reach the present. If you want to understand America in 450 pages then begin here.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By simon gurney HALL OF FAME on 8 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
Storming Heaven is a history of the movers and shakers of the drugs revolution which started in California and whose ripples can still be felt.
As LSD spreads through the universities, music studios and film lots, Jay Stevens charts the adventures of many of the acid lumineries such as Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters, the grateful dead and how the movement suddenly took on a huge momentum, which forced the forsec of law and order into action.
A great insight into ther period, with a very west coast flavour.
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By Helen D. Smart on 17 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An unusual view of a period of history which gave me a lot to mull over. I was interested to from the start, snippets of a piece of history I missed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Started Reading and now I can't put the book down, this is an interesting book of the usage of LSD and informative. I would recommend this book to anybody with a interest in physcoactive drugs and would rate this book at 5*'s Thanks..
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well-researched interesting take on the history of LSD, and a very worthwhile contribution to the history of psychedelic use.

Unfortunately the errors in the Kindle version are a serious distraction. A combination of poor OCR from a print original, and non-compliant AZW compilation appear to be at fault.

For example, Abraham Hoffer's name in interchangeably rendered as Hotter and Hoffer, Harry J Anslinger's name is Ainslinger. The word "Island" is always italicised, whether correctly as in Huxley's novel, or incorrectly as in Long Island. There is no Table of Contents. The footnotes on each chapter run into the next chapter. I have returned my purchase and requested a refund. I hope to purchase a better ebook version elsewhere.
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