The Most Dangerous Man in America
Steven L. Davis, Bill Minutaglio
‘It’s a rollicking tale that brings to life the antic atmosphere of America in the ‘Me’ Decade’ Wall Street Journal
‘A madcap chase… this is a well-written chronicle of 28 months when the world went slightly mad’ Sunday Times
‘A suitably head-spinning account of LSD High Priest Dr Timothy Leary’ Mail on Sunday
On the moonlit evening of September 12, 1970, an ex-Harvard professor with a genius IQ studies a twelve-foot high fence topped with barbed wire. A few months earlier, Dr. Timothy Leary, the High Priest of LSD, had been running a gleeful campaign for California governor against Ronald Reagan. Now, Leary is six months into a ten-year prison sentence for the crime of possessing two marijuana cigarettes.
Aided by the radical Weather Underground, Leary’s escape from prison is the counterculture’s union of “dope and dynamite,” aimed at sparking a revolution and overthrowing the government. Inside the Oval Office, President Richard Nixon drinks his way through sleepless nights as he expands the war in Vietnam and plots to unleash the United States government against his ever-expanding list of domestic enemies. Antiwar demonstrators are massing by the tens of thousands; homemade bombs are exploding everywhere; Black Panther leaders are threatening to burn down the White House; and all the while Nixon obsesses over tracking down Timothy Leary, whom he has branded “the most dangerous man in America.”
Based on freshly uncovered primary sources and new firsthand interviews, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA is an American thriller that takes readers along for the gonzo ride of a lifetime. Spanning twenty-eight months, President Nixon’s careening, global manhunt for Dr. Timothy Leary winds its way among homegrown radicals, European aristocrats, a Black Panther outpost in Algeria, an international arms dealer, hash-smuggling hippies from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and secret agents on four continents, culminating in one of the trippiest journeys through the American counterculture.
A vivid, eye-opening alternate view of an especially bizarre period of American history...Far too strange to be fiction, the book brilliantly details an American tragedy of two men, each of whom considered the other to be the most dangerous man in America -- James Fadiman, PhD * Microdose researcher and author of The Psychedelic Explorers' Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys * Our intrepid authors, pounding the present tense like the brake pedal on a runaway 18-wheeler, narrate a story more wild, inventive, and sex-drenched than a Dennis Hopper movie -- Glenn Frankel * Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic * The glory of [The Most Dangerous Man in America] is its fast-paced, rollicking narrative that brings the freakishness of the revolutionary 1970s to life. Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis have pulled off a meticulous observation of their subjects with turns of phrases that pop with pleasure. I galloped through the book; could not put it down -- Jan Jarboe Russell * New York Times bestselling author of The Train to Crystal City * A riveting international chase between a tenacious but paranoid cat and a wily but delusional mouse... Minutaglio and Davis are superb storytellers, and throughout the narrative, they nimbly move between their two converging subjects. Their account is expertly detailed and blessedly fat-free * Kirkus (Starred Review) * A pitch-perfect, exhilarating work about one of the strangest chapters in the American experience, one so exciting that even the postscript rivets...A stroke of narrative genius * Booklist (Starred Review) * The Most Dangerous Man in America is a wild ride across time, space, and multiple cosmic planes during an era when America came close to losing -- or finding? -- its mind. Leary and Nixon: surely no other country on earth could have produced such a perfectly, surreally antithetical pair. Crack open this book and prepare to have your mind blown by the reality of this very strange tale -- Ben Fountain * PEN/Hemingway and O. Henry Prize-winning author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories * It's a rollicking tale that brings to life the antic atmosphere of America in the 'Me' decade * Wall Street Journal * ...[A] rip-roaring tale of hallucinogenic drugs, revolutionary politics and an intercontinental standoff...Minutaglio and Davis have taken a largely forgotten chapter from the recent past and turned it into a vigorous page-turner * San Francisco Chronicle * One of the decade's most audacious and exciting stories, told with page-turning panache * The Boston Globe * Fascinating...rigorously researched...[The Most Dangerous Man in America] offers the pleasures of the tick-tock genre. Much like Leary himself, the book is plenty of zany fun * The New York Times *
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