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Aquarius Revisited [Paperback]

P Whitmer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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From Publishers Weekly

Clinical psychologist Whitmer invites readers on a trip down memory lane via interviews with '60s-era mavericks. Psychologist Timothy Leary, whose LSD experiments at Harvard spilled over from the lab into his private life, poet Allen Ginsberg, and writers William Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, Tom Robbins and Hunter S. Thompson reveal the serendipitous nature of their encounters with one another, their clashes with the law and the establishment, bouts of drug abuse, and the relationship between the psychedelic experience and their creativity. Depicted is a 1982 poetry reading by Ginsberg, the audience divided between long-haired '60s devotees and '80s preppies on a class assignment that Whitmer likens to "spending a day at Peabody Museum looking at pre-Columbian basket weaving for Anthro 1-A." His self-indulgent prose, where substance is sacrificed for jazziness, fails to transmit across the generation gap the magic and urgency of the '60s revolution. Photos not seen by PW. (July
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

By combining interviews with complementary background information, Whitmer offers fascinating though uneven views of William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Norman Mailer, Tom Robbins, and Hunter S. Thompson. While it is impossible to fully explain "the finger-snap change of a generation of dull caterpillars into a nation of gaudy butterflies," Whitmer does help us better understand these seven interwoven lives and how they affected each other and society. The book is fleshed out with chapters on the Esalen Institute, Berkeley in the Sixties, and the recent commune experience of Rajneeshpuram. Not a scholarly work, but a compelling one. Photos not seen. Rebecca Sturm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Age Oct. 12 2000
Format:Paperback
Happened upon this nifty book in the counterculture section of my local bookstore and bought two copies.
The author takes us on a spirited, insightful sojourn through the backalleys of America's true icons and offers up zillions of interesting sidetracks along the way.
He doesn't mince too many words when disclosing the nitty gritty opinions that each of the protagonists has of one another - this makes for a more interesting read than many works which simply glorify all their subjects.
Additionally, somehow the author has an uncanny finger on the pulse of what we really want to hear about on the way, such as the piece on James Dean - his significance and his death. The section on Hunter S. Thompson is a riot!!!
This is a nice addition to your psychedelic editions.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
Next to Jay Stevens' classic "Storming Heaven" and Don Snyder's wonderful photographic essay "Aquarian Odyssey," make room on your bookshelf for Peter O. Whitmer's seven-dimensional biography "Aquarius Revisited." Combining well-written history and targeted recent interviews, we meet seven of the elemental forces who shaped the counter-culture of the Sixties as the outrageous, facinating, and above all intelligent souls that laid the groundwork for the last great movement our century will see. William S. Burroughs; Allen Ginsberg; Key Kesey; Timothy Leary; Norman Mailer; Tom Robbins; Hunter S. Thompson: some are gone, some are still with us, but all come together here to make a biography not only of seven people, but of a way of life, thought and hope.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The icons of the Sixties become real people again. July 31 1998
By Coises@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Next to Jay Stevens' classic "Storming Heaven" and Don Snyder's wonderful photographic essay "Aquarian Odyssey," make room on your bookshelf for Peter O. Whitmer's seven-dimensional biography "Aquarius Revisited." Combining well-written history and targeted recent interviews, we meet seven of the elemental forces who shaped the counter-culture of the Sixties as the outrageous, facinating, and above all intelligent souls that laid the groundwork for the last great movement our century will see. William S. Burroughs; Allen Ginsberg; Key Kesey; Timothy Leary; Norman Mailer; Tom Robbins; Hunter S. Thompson: some are gone, some are still with us, but all come together here to make a biography not only of seven people, but of a way of life, thought and hope.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of tales from "the greater generation" March 1 2008
By William Courson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A great collection of tales from "the greater generation"

Peter O. Whitmer is a writer and clinical psychologist and Bruce Van Wyngarden a magazine editor, both "children of the sixties." First published in 1987, "Aquarius Revisited" offers readers a penetrating look at some of the iconic figures of what the authors describe as the "Acid Generation," reflecting the degree to which drug use fueled at least some of the creativity the era spawned.

In AR, we meet seven of the personalities who gave shape and color to the counterculture of the 1960's: unconventional, intriguing, and, for the most part, profoundly wise souls that built the philosophic, spiritual, literary and aesthetic foundations one of the most significant movements that the twentieth century has produced.

AR is well-written history with penetrating interviews of William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Key Kesey, Timothy Leary, Norman Mailer, Tom Robbins and Hunter S. Thompson. Illustrative background information is offered with chapters on the Esalen Institute, UC Berkeley and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's Rajneeshpuram commune.

These seven fathers (they are, for some reason, all male) are all avatars who in a large sense created a movement that changed America, hopefully for good. As a group they are the aesthetic of evolution, the wellsprings of revolution, and, in the author's words, "they peer into the future, saying `there is always more.' They are the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night."

This is a delicious book, a treat for the soul, that realistically portrays some of the reasons for "the way we were."
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Age Oct. 12 2000
By Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Happened upon this nifty book in the counterculture section of my local bookstore and bought two copies.
The author takes us on a spirited, insightful sojourn through the backalleys of America's true icons and offers up zillions of interesting sidetracks along the way.
He doesn't mince too many words when disclosing the nitty gritty opinions that each of the protagonists has of one another - this makes for a more interesting read than many works which simply glorify all their subjects.
Additionally, somehow the author has an uncanny finger on the pulse of what we really want to hear about on the way, such as the piece on James Dean - his significance and his death. The section on Hunter S. Thompson is a riot!!!
This is a nice addition to your psychedelic editions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icons of the '60s Sept. 18 2011
By César Chávez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author writes engagingly about his visits with 7 prominent figures from the '60's. Very entertaining and informative personal look as Whitmer often meets his subjects in their homes and describes personal details.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Gift for the Acid Casualty on yer Shopping List Dec 6 2004
By Ace Backwords - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent, well-written book. It provides a probing first-person look at some of the great acid heroes of the sixties; Leary, Kesey, Ginsberg, Thompson, etc. My only criticism is that even though the author has a somewhat critical eye towards the foibles of these Great Men, and gets in a few zingers at their expense, theres nonetheless a slightly fawning tone, partiularly towards Timothy Leary, surely one of the most dispicable figures to rise from the dregs of the 60s. If you're curious about reading more about these guys you might wanna check out my manuscript-in-progress simply titled "ACID" which I'm writing on-line on my website, [...]
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