By Stephen Siff
Now synonymous with Sixties counterculture, LSD really entered the yank awareness through the mainstream. Time and Life, messengers of lumpen-American respectability, trumpeted its grand arrival in a postwar panorama scoured of fascinating descriptions of drug use whereas shops around the media panorama piggybacked on their insurance with tales by way of turns sensationalized and glowing.
Acid Hype bargains the untold story of LSD's wild trip from Brylcreem and Ivory cleaning soap to incense and peppermints. As Stephen Siff exhibits, the early cognizance lavished at the drug by way of the scoop media glorified its use in remedies for psychological disease but in addition its prestige as a mystical--yet legitimate--gateway to exploring the subconscious brain. Siff's heritage takes readers to the guts of ways renowned media hyped psychedelic medicines in a always moving criminal and social surroundings, generating an difficult dating among medicines and media event that got here to outline modern popular culture. It additionally strains how the breathless insurance of LSD gave technique to a textbook ethical panic, reworking yesterday's subtle seeker of truths into an acid casualty splayed out past the perimeter of well mannered society.
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Additional info for Acid Hype: American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience
Reporters often treated Leary, a Harvard psychologist removed from his job as a result of drug experimentation, with skepticism while still permitting him to explain the LSD phenomenon and relying on his scholarship and wit. Journalists were often surprisingly accepting of Leary’s conclusions about the drug experience, even while condemning his encouragement of drug use. Among the many magazines focusing attention on LSD, Time and Life were particularly protective of the technology and hopeful it could be productively used by regular people.
10 Progressive crusaders and government officials who enforced censorship at the local level did not fear simply that people who viewed obscene material would mimic the behavior portrayed. Rather, they believed that the act of viewing itself was harmful, leading to juvenile delinquency and social decline. Comstock-era attacks on obscenity drew on an understanding articulated in the 1868 British court ruling in Regina v. 11 Under that decision, obscenity was defined as that which could be harmful to women, children, or the mentally deficient.
Over the course of a fifteen-month investigation, the committee convened hearings in fourteen cities and interviewed hundreds of witnesses, including drug addicts and notorious gangsters like Bugsy Siegel and Frank Costello. 84 “Illegal drug use has reached epidemic proportions, according to information secured by this committee from different parts of the country. 85 Broadcast on both radio and television, the hearings captured the nation’s attention, reaching an estimated thirty million television viewers during hearings in New York.