Relive the 1960’s in All Its Psychedelic Glory
When Tom Wolfe arrived in San Francisco to cover the hippie movement, photographer Lawrence Schiller had been there for a while covering the burgeoning counterculture for LIFE. Together the two, along with Ted Streshinsky, created a comprehensive account of one of most bizarre moments in American history.
Part of this narrative is recorded in Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a landmark piece of writing for the New Journalism movement that explores the dramatic social changes in 1960’s America. In the book, Wolfe follows famed writer Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters on a psychedelic journey across the country in a school bus, during which they imbibed LSD-laced drinks in hopes of achieving “intersubjectivity.” For those already part of the hippie movement, Wolfe’s book became gospel. Since then, the figures and places mentioned in the Acid Test have gained a cult-like following.
In an effort to synthesize the great works that captured West Coast counterculture at its height, a collector’s edition of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is being published to include Wolfe’s manuscript pages, as well as writings from Ken Kesey during his incarceration. Weaving the prose altogether are photographs from Schiller, Streshinksy, Allen Ginsburg, and others from the era.
The resulting 356-page book paints a vivid picture of a hallucinogen-fueled social movement, from the streets of Haight-Ashbury to the “acid tests” themselves. To purchase one of the 1,768 prints of the collector’s edition for $350, click here. Before you do, enjoy a preview of the book below.
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