The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD

"Turn on. Tune in. Drop out." That seductive invitation from former Harvard psychology researcher and psychedelic drug evangelist Timothy Leary struck terror into the hearts of parents of American teenagers and young adults in the 1960s and 1970s. And it enraged President Richard M. Nixon, who saw Leary as a subversive force, capable of galvanizing opposition to his administration's controversial policies, chief among them its refusal to bring about a promised end to the Vietnam War. Based on extensive archival research and personal interviews, Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis's The Most Dangerous Man in America is the entertaining story of the madcap 28-month globetrotting pursuit of Leary after his escape from a California minimum-security prison in September 1970.

Sentenced to a 10-year term for possession of two joints, Leary broke out with relative ease, aided by the revolutionaries known as the Weathermen. Relying on funds provided by another shadowy group, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Leary and his wife, Rosemary, eventually made their way to Algiers. There they entered the disturbing and often terrifying orbit of Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers, recognized by Algerian authorities as the official representatives of the United States, actively plotting to overthrow the country they called "Babylon."

Minutaglio and Davis (Dallas 1963) vividly recount the manic goings-on in Algiers, as Leary's desire to spread the gospel of LSD clashed with Cleaver's plans for violent revolution. The Most Dangerous Man in America is a vivid evocation of a raucous time in recent American history. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit