LSD — The Wonder Child: The Golden Age of Psychedelic Research in the 1950s (Paperback)

LSD — The Wonder Child: The Golden Age of Psychedelic Research in the 1950s By Thomas Hatsis, Martin Lee (Foreword by) Cover Image

LSD — The Wonder Child: The Golden Age of Psychedelic Research in the 1950s (Paperback)

By Thomas Hatsis, Martin Lee (Foreword by)


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A detailed history of the blossoming of psychedelic research in the 1950s

• Explores the different groups--from research labs to the military--who were seeking how best to utilize LSD and other promising psychedelics like mescaline

• Reintroduces forgotten scientists like Robert Hyde and Rosalind Heywood

• Looks at the CIA’s notorious top-secret mind-control program MKUltra

• Reveals how intellectuals, philosophers, artists, and mystics of the 1950s used LSD to bring ancient rites into the modern ageExploring the initial stages of psychedelic study in Europe and America, Thomas Hatsis offers a full history of the psychedelic-fueled revolution in healing and consciousness expansion that blossomed in the 1950s--the first “golden age” of psychedelic research.

Revealing LSD as a “wonder child” rather than Albert Hofmann’s infamous “problem child,” the author focuses on the extensive studies with LSD that took place in the ’50s. He explores the different groups--from research labs to the military to bohemian art circles--who were seeking how best to utilize LSD and other promising psychedelics like mescaline. Sharing the details of many primary source medical reports, the author examines how doctors saw LSD as a tool to gain access to the minds of schizophrenics and thus better understand the causes of mental illness.The author also looks at how the CIA believed LSD could be turned into a powerful mind-control weapon, including a full account of the notorious top-secret program MKUltra.

Reintroducing forgotten scientists like Robert Hyde, the first American to take LSD, and parapsychologist Rosalind Heywood, who believed LSD and mescaline opened doors to mystical and psychic abilities, the author also discusses how the infl uences of Central American mushroom ceremonies and peyote rites crossbred with experimental Western mysticism during the 1950s, turning LSD from a possible madness mimicker or mind weapon into a sacramental medicine. Finally, he explores how philosophers, parapsychologists, and mystics sought to use LSD to usher in a new age of human awareness.
Thomas Hatsis is a historian of psychedelia, witchcraft, magic, pagan religions, alternative Christianities, and the cultural intersection of those areas, who holds a master’s degree in history from Queens College. The author of The Witches’ Ointment and Psychedelic Mystery Traditions, he runs, a site dedicated to promoting the latest and best information pertaining to the Psychedelic Renaissance. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Product Details ISBN: 9781644112564
ISBN-10: 1644112566
Publisher: Park Street Press
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English
“Reveals the fifties as the forgotten psychedelic decade. Hatsis brings to life the radical experiments of the famous and not so famous psychedelic pioneers. Impeccably researched, Hatsis nonetheless wears his scholarship lightly. Reading this is like tripping with your professor. An invaluable and eminently readable contribution to psychedelic history.”
— Andy Letcher, author of Shroom, lecturer, and musician

“An original synthesis of rare information, precious anecdotes, and scientific adventure stories. A masterful storyteller, Thomas Hatsis is our knowledgeable guide on this insightfully written history of pharmacology’s most notorious chemical agent. From hopeful research into LSD’s therapeutic potential and the hidden potential of the human mind to its sacramental use and the dark mindcontrol experiments of the CIA, Hatsis provides a page-turning historical perspective on the origins of psychedelic culture and how we got to where we are today in the psychedelic renaissance. Highly recommended!”
— David Jay Brown, author of The New Science of Psychedelics and Dreaming Wide Awake

“A highly readable history of how psychedelics filtered through the wards of hospitals and prisons; the U.S. military and the MKUltra program; Huautla de Jiménez and Hollywood; university laboratories and the fields of parapsychology, mysticism, and literature; and into the clinics of psychiatrists, setting the stage for psychedelics spilling onto the streets of America in the 1960s.”
— Michael James Winkelman, Ph.D., M.P.H., coeditor of Advances in Psychedelic Medicine

“Tom Hatsis brings this story to life with vivid characters, mystical and scientific intrigue, and exciting exploits in this colorful history of psychedelic adventures. His passion for the topic comes to life in this page-turner of a book.”
— Erika Dyck, Ph.D., author of Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus

“This wonderful book by Thomas Hastis is the most beautifully written, detailed, candid, personal, and informative text on the subject of Albert Hofmann’s serendipitous stumbling. Get on the bus. Take that bike ride. Whatever. But make sure Tom’s book is in your backpack. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better guide for your trip.”
— Ben Sessa, MBBS (M.D.), MRCPsych, psychedelic therapist and chief medical officer at Awakn Life Scie