This book, by James Penner, who is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, is a demonstration of the process of how experimental and empirical studies in psychology and the social sciences can become, in time, the subject matter of studies in cultural history. Penner is not a psychologist or sociologist, using quantitative empirical methods – he is a professor of English, who previously wrote a book on "The Rhetoric of Masculinity in American Literary Culture."
The book is a reprint collection of articles originally published in psychology and social science journals in the early 1960s, many of them hard if not impossible to find, with insightful introductions by Professor Penner. From the back cover: "Presenting the first collection of Leary’s writings devoted entirely to the research phase of his career, 1960-1965, this book offers rare articles from Leary’s time as a professor at Harvard...including writings from the Harvard Psilocybin Project, the Concord Prison Project, and the Good Friday Experiment."
These essays explore the nature of creativity and the therapeutic, spiritual and religious aspects of psilocybin and LSD. Featuring Leary’s scientific articles and a rare account of his therapeutic approach, "On Existential Transaction Theory," the book also includes Leary’s final essay from his time at Harvard, "The Politics of Consciousness Expansion," as well as controversial articles published shortly after his dismissal.
With an editor's introduction examining the Harvard drug scandal and a critical preface to each essay, this book of seminal essays by Leary – appearing in unabridged form – shows why and how he quickly become an articulate spokesperson for consciousness expansion and an iconic figure for the generation that came of age in the 1960s."