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The Harvard Psychedelic Club

01 Jul 2018

The Harvard Psychedelic Club was recommended to me by Taya as she was surprised I had not read it already. I had a decent understanding of the major events the book covers, but less so the specific details of the lives of the major players. The book is probably best understood if you have experienced some psychedelics, but the history is interesting regardless.

I have pretty strong opinions about drugs and their place in our legal system. This book is more biography than history and therefore does not delve too deeply into the details of the changing landscape of laws around psychedelics and all drugs as a whole in the United States during this time period. Timothy Leary did more damage than anyone else to the potential for a more reasonable legal doctrine surrounding most drugs than any. One might say Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters did more damage, which I would concede is possible. But I would have liked a bit more in depth coverage of the legal ramifications of the Harvard Psilocybin Project.

Overall this is a decent overview of the project at Harvard which is an interesting part of history if you are not aware of it. The book however falls a bit short as it tries to be a biography of four people in under 300 pages. Worth a read if you want the basic gist, but lacks a lot of depth.


Category: book