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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good summary of Dr. Leary's life
I've been reading a lot of books about the 60's counter-culture recently, and John Higgs' book on Timothy Leary has been one of the most enjoyable. Rather than being a straightforward birth-to-death biography, the book tells Leary's life as a story, starting with his prison escape. Many of Leary's views can sound a little flaky, but Higgs does a great job of explaining...
Published on 12 July 2010 by Orbific

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do you really care what this whacked out guy thought?
Okay, I shed not a lot of tears when this doper died, but I bought the book in case he'd written it in a lucid moment. He didn't have any lucid moments. Not the fault of the author, the fault of the subject and antipathy to drugs and drug lifestyle, I guess.
Published 11 months ago by Mr. J. H. Wheeler


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good summary of Dr. Leary's life, 12 July 2010
This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Paperback)
I've been reading a lot of books about the 60's counter-culture recently, and John Higgs' book on Timothy Leary has been one of the most enjoyable. Rather than being a straightforward birth-to-death biography, the book tells Leary's life as a story, starting with his prison escape. Many of Leary's views can sound a little flaky, but Higgs does a great job of explaining them. He also doesn't let Leary off the hook for his dodgier behaviour, such as his decision to become an informer for the FBI.

The book tells some great anecdotes, and includes appearances from many of the luminaries of the sixties scene. I often despair of biographies where the writer aims for exhaustive details at the expense of being a good read. Higgs does a good job of drawing out the most interesting parts of Leary's life while giving appropriate background information where needed. I'd not read a great deal about Leary before this and felt John Higgs did a great job. The book has given me some good ideas for further reading in the future.

This is a well-structured, interesting book, which also has one of the best titles I've seen in ages. Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable little trip, 2 Sept. 2011
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Mr. M. J. Payne (The North) - See all my reviews
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Read this book in the space of two evenings, a gripping story of Leary's interesting and fairly unique life. the book covers his role of spokesperson of the late 60's Acid generation and the influence he had on many bands, poets and well known figures of the era. Its well written and an easy read and is a bargain compared to many other Kindle books. If you're interested in his theories or just want to read about a dramatic part of recent history than I really suggest you download this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Ride!, 29 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Paperback)
If you want a book that flows whilst scoring all of the juicy bits in Timothy Leary's life this is the one to get. Each chapter is about ten pages long and is packed with some very entertaining information as well as plausible speculation. I felt that the author had really connected with the spirit of Leary and I found myself drawn into this 1960s counter-cultural/hippy world in which Timothy Leary helped create and construct through giving his philosophical viewpoints and recommending that the youth take LSD to reset their conditioned minds.

The author is not biased either; he balances out his information and pointing out where Timothy Leary went wrong and writing about some of the less heroic acts he did like become a snitch for FBI in order to get out of prison (however, considering Tim's situation it is still understandable why he did this and besides he could've given away much more information than he let on, but instead cleverly led the Feds on). It also has a good forward by Winona Ryder who happens to be his God daughter... It's totally worth getting this book; from stories like his escape from prison with aid from the Weather Underground to his life in Africa and then Europe with his girlfriend Joanne.

Brilliant! I really did enjoy it but only give it four stars because I wanted it to be a bit long and bit more in-depth with more detail but still a great read - it left me wanting to know more about Leary but this is definately a great starter as Higgs totally connects with the spirit of Leary and spirit of the times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Timothy Leary Dead?, 16 May 2014
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A first class book written in a discursive style illustrating well the people who influenced Leary and those who Leary in turn influenced. Leary's impact upon the world has been far greater than his distractors like to admit, and many of his ideas, at the time dismissed as fantasy have since been found to have substance. In short, Leary was a visionary scientist prepared to push the boundaries of experimentation further than anyone else. Leary was and still is an inspiration to many. He may be dead but he still lives; after reading Higgs' book the reader will have no doubt of that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, really enjoyed the trip., 7 July 2013
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I really, really enjoyed the KLF book by Mr Higgs (which seems to have disappeared from Amazon - maybe being pumped for greater things?) and thought this would be something worth reading but somehow lesser. But no, I enjoyed this even more. I've had a dubious past and understand how Mr Leary contributed to this in a big way, but I never knew what a fascinating tale his life makes. Mr Higgs brings it alive from multiple angles. I now want to find some LSD! A great read whether you know the guy or not, and whether your past has been 'clean' or turned on. Thanks Mr Higgs!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shedding light on the 'myth' of the 60s, 10 Feb. 2014
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A great story of one man's crucial role in the rise of LSD and the flower power culture; of his foresight and his naiveté; of the paranoia of the US authorities and Leary's innocent pleasure in goading them; of the fascination of the great and the good of the music world in Leary himself; and of his ultimate falling from favour as 'tripping' lost its cool and riskier substances came to market.

I missed this era by only 5 or so years (and 3000 miles), and this was a real nostalgia trip - thoroughly enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A prophet dishonoured by his country, 9 July 2013
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I had the misconception that Tim Leary was a druggy dropout. and was amazed by this account of his life.He was a Harvard professor who after trying LSD was impressed with its ability to transform our ways of seeing, and felt that its use could help humans to truly reach their full potential. In the early years he was able to officially conduct experiments with LSD, as were the American military and the CIA. With the rise of the hippy drug culture, the American government began their war on drugs, and Leary became public enemy number one, with the government seeking to lock him up and throw away the key.

The book is a very honest account ; Leary was certainly no saint, and his treatment of his women and children was sometimes a long way from perfect, and he could be foolish and mercenary. His work on the use of LSD was an eye-opener, not advocating it as a way to oblivion but as a whole new way of seeing. The author ends by saying how much Leary's work influenced the development of personal computers and the internet, making them the intuitive and fun things they are today rather than a boring tool for business. Well worth a read whatever your views on the use of drugs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvard professor to international terrorist., 3 Jan. 2012
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mr. (croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Paperback)
My favorite biography of all time. You just couldn't make this stuff up if you tried. Tim's life never slows down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and in-depth., 9 Feb. 2014
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i never knew the half of it!
Loaded with context and written with confidence, authority and zeal...it's a massive story.
Frankly, you are better off reading it than reading this. Personally; money well spent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and interesting insight, 9 Nov. 2014
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Thoroughly enjoyed the casual stroll through the life and times of an iconic figure. Some very interesting insights into a movement that revolutionised the way we engage in literacy, music, design, and philosophy. Tim Leary raised awareness by asking questions that had been out of the human mind until he found a mechanism to expand the mind.

This book tells the story of a normal guy who went to the limits. He loved life, he lived life...and paid the price. He thought he had found the key to unlock the door to a revolutionary existence......but of course we are talking drugs.....and inevitably a false state to reality...or is it.

There are pieces of Tim in everyone. Enjoy.
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I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary
I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary by John Higgs (Paperback - 1 May 2006)
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