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I Have America Surrounded: A Biography of Timothy Leary Hardcover – 30 Aug 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books; First Edition edition (30 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803158
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,205,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

John Higgs is an author and BAFTA-nominated TV producer. He has produced a number of animated children's series, most recently The Beeps and Castle Farm. John has produced video games, created the Radio 4 quiz show X Marks The Spot, and written for numerous publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Mojo. His website is www.johnhiggs.com

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i bought this, primarily, as i enjoy john higgs' writing, but also with the intention of becoming informed regarding the life of timothy leary, although i had no particular admiration for the man. still don't really, as (to me) the book makes clear what a self-serving glory hunter he was - how dismissive of people he was, and borderline cruel to those closest to him. looks like hunter s. thompson was spot on with his assessment of the man! maybe this was how he had to behave in order to pursue his goals! worthy or not, i don't know how relevant his work and research into mind expanding substances is now, and maybe his legacy is as celebrity academic?
whatever my impression of leary has become, this is exceptionally well written, researched and balanced biography by an author that could write entertainingly about the hardening of faecal matter and make it interesting and valid! contains all we need to know, and set out in a neutral narrative that allows the reader to form opinion and learn. what more? i have thoroughly enjoyed this, 'k.l.f.....' and 'stranger than we can imagine....', now looking forward to a 'trip' down 'watling street' in july!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book isn't just a bio of Timothy Leary, its an eye opener of psychedelic radicalism, its about the God behind the eyes, the God Tim Leary said was within within you and I and its also got loads of celebrities inside.

The title of this book is borrowed from a thing Timothy Leary's sloganized after prez Nixon called him a danger to the youth of the day. Timothy Leary was the psychedelic piper of the counter culture, who told the youth about this version of God, this was after investing magic mushrooms. Things are never the same after experiencing the sacred mushroom.
Before he tried magic mushrooms, Timothy Leary was a stiff Harvard academic, after trying the mushroom, Leary wore beads and guiding a generation of black and white conformist's out of the 1950's and into the light. For his labours, Timothy Leary got his butt thrown into maximum security. Prison was a bitter pill for one of the most prestigious psychologists working in America at the time. Why did he get thrown into prison? Was it for saying that he learned more from an 8 hour mushroom experience than studying psychology for 20 years (the clip was on You Tube for ages but its been taken down now)?

Dr Leary experienced the God within, the God, incidentally, that they never tell you about in kindergarten. The cardinals of the academy, and their political stooges, recoiled in horror at the suggestion that running rats in a maze was not the way to do psychology, and because of their refusal to experiment, Leary called them flat Earthers. We see these flat Earthers today, in the towers of the academy and in the halls of philosophy.

If an idiot looks into a mirror don't expect a genius to look back. Culture is the mirror. Make of that as you may.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book. If you have an interest in 60's American counter culture then this book will appeal. It catalogues the life of Dr T Leary, bringing in other characters of that era and placing them in the context of the time. Its well written and interesting and seems to highlight both Dr Learys positive side and the not so positive side (that many people would choose to gloss over).

Its fairly readable as well, so something you could take away and finish in a few days!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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