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Acid Dreams


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The authors here examine the possibility that ``the CIA disseminated street acid en masse so as to deflate the political potency of the youth rebellion'' of the 1960s. Lee and Shain, who examined 20,000 pages of declassified federal documents, tell of the CIA's super-secret MK-ULTRA operation, in which LSD was tested on unwitting residents of Greenwich Village and San Francisco. They also make connections between people linked with the CIA and the widespread availability of LSD during the '60s. Although the authors conclude that ``there's no hard evidence the CIA engineered a great LSD conspiracy,'' along the way they provide a fascinating social history. Of particular interest are profiles of prominent people in the ``psychedelic movement,'' including Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, the Beatles and shady figure Ronald Stark, an LSD chemist who knew both American embassy personnel and underground terrorists. (March)

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