Book Review: “Timothy Leary: A Biography” by Robert Greenfield

Ever start reading a book and you think, “This sounds cliched and slow, maybe I should move on?” DON’T STOP READING. This book is cliched and slow at the beginning, yes, and the early pyschological observations seem overly simplistic, yes — but, still, don’t stop reading.

By the time Timothy Leary goes to West Point — the future psychedelic drug guru of the entire western world in the most conservative and rigid part of US society — the book becomes riveting. And after that, it never stops.

Timothy Leary was a consummate showman above all else — to him, life was all about fame and performance, and he even manages to be interesting and compelling until the day he dies.

And the research — the sheer detail and amount of reading Mr. Greenfield must have done is staggering. I couldn’t write a book like this with a staff of 20. Just about all of Leary’s personal correspondence is referenced, all of his books as well, all of the books of his peers, all of his scientific studies, all the articles WRITTEN ABOUT him at contemporary parts of the book, interviews with critical figures — it’s all there. Staggering in volume.

And, until this book, I thought I knew who Timothy Leary was, what he stood for, and how he fit into our culture. I didn’t know anything.

If only Mr. Greenfield would write biographies on EVERYONE I’m interested in reading about. Highly recommended.

Available on Amazon here.

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