White Hand Society: The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg (Paperback)

White Hand Society: The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg By Peter Conners Cover Image

White Hand Society: The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg (Paperback)


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In 1960 Timothy Leary was not yet famous--or infamous--and Allen Ginsberg was both. Leary, eager to expand his experiments at the Harvard Psilocybin Project to include accomplished artists and writers, knew that Ginsberg held the key to bohemia's elite. Ginsberg, fresh from his first experience with hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico, was eager to promote the spiritual possibilities of psychedelic use. Thus, America's most conspicuous beatnik was recruited as Ambassador of Psilocybin under the auspices of an Ivy League professor, and together they launched the psychedelic revolution and turned on the hippie generation.

White Hand Society weaves a fascinating and entertaining tale of the life, times and friendship of these two larger-than-life figures and the incredible impact their relationship had on America. Peter Conners has gathered hundreds of pages of letters, documents, studies, FBI files and other primary resources that shed new light on their relationship, and a veritable who's who of artists and cultural figures appear along the way, including Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Thelonious Monk, Willem de Kooning and Barney Rosset. The story of the psychedelic partnership of two of the most famous, charismatic and controversial members of America's counterculture brings together a multitude of major figures from politics, the arts and the intersection of intellectual life and outlaw culture in a way that sheds new light on the dawn of the 1960s.

Through the years City Lights has brought us seminal work by Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and now, this detail-rich double bio of Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary. I knew both these men pretty well, and the times intimately, and Peter Conners has been true to it all. I don't know how he amassed the trunks of data he must have used to find the jillions of details which were new to me, but I'm certainly glad that he did. This book wins a well deserved spot on my shelf, and belongs with anyone who wants an intimate view of the Sixties-Seventies spinning of the Great Wheel of the Dharma.--Peter Coyote, actor/author, Sleeping Where I Fall

Peter Conners is author of the memoir Growing Up Dead: The Hallucinated Confessions of a Teenage Deadhead (Da Capo Press, 2009). His other books include the prose poetry collection Of Whiskey and Winter, the novella Emily Ate the Wind and the collection The Crows Were Laughing in their Trees, published by White Pine Press in spring 2011. He is also editor of PP/FF: An Anthology which was published by Starcherone Books in April 2006. His writing appears regularly in such journals as Poetry International, Mississippi Review, Brooklyn Rail, Fiction International, Salt Hill, Hotel Amerika, Mid-American Review, The Bitter Oleander and Beloit Fiction Journal and will be included in the Forty Under Forty poetry anthology forthcoming from Yale University Press.
Product Details ISBN: 9780872865358
ISBN-10: 0872865355
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publication Date: November 23rd, 2010
Pages: 312
Language: English

"A full account of the two 1960s icons who made it their cause to launch the psychedelic age…an entertaining overview of an era whose echoes still ring."—Kirkus