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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

versus
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 2 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
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable little trip, 2 Sep 2011
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Mr. M. J. Payne (The North) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Kindle Edition)
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
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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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 Shedding light on the 'myth' of the 60s, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Kindle Edition)
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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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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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Kindle Edition)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Ride!, 29 Oct 2011
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative, 24 July 2011
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An entertaining, and informative biography which sheds a lot of light on the roots and aims of the counter-culture whilst also being fun to read. I knew next to nothing about Leary before reading this book, but was tempted by the 99p Kindle edition, and am rather glad I was. Leary was no doubt an extraordinary guy; hugely charismatic, highly intelligent, and fearless, but also narcissistic, selfish and a sucker for the limelight. He must have had the constitution of an ox to have survived the quantity and variety of substances that he consumed, and at one point it does appear he comes slightly off the rails.

I came away from this book understanding a lot more about the reasons Leary was so keen on the use of LSD and other psychoactive substances, although not entirely persuaded by the wider role claimed for LSD in fields as diverse as music, the discovery of DNA, post-modernism and chaos theory.

However, I was also left feeling that I'd just read an entertaining adventure story; which I think is probably how Leary saw his own life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Is Timothy Leary Dead?, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Kindle Edition)
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Do you really care what this whacked out guy thought?, 27 April 2014
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Mr. J. H. Wheeler "Easy Street" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Kindle Edition)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the trip, 15 April 2014
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Emma Bourke "emmyh55" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary (Kindle Edition)
One of the 7 million - IT changed everything and it was interesting to find the roots of wisdom x
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