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."