Albion Dreaming .
A popular history of LSD in Britain
Andy Roberts has turned his gimlet eye on one of the most contentious issues of the 20th Century, the discovery, use and repression of the most profounddrug known to man and Britain's key role in disseminating it to the world. There are already many books already covering the many aspects of recent history such as the music and the personalities or their famous drug busts but Andy has brought these diverse facets together in an holistic view that is empowering in its comprehension.
it is true that the hoary saying of "If you remember the Sixties then you
weren't there" then this will help to give that decade a context for the
social changes that occurred in Britain. This important book is a revealing
and edifying journey starting in 1938 where Albert Hoffman first synthesise
LSD25 and his accidental first 'trip'. Andy recounts how it was introduced to
Britain in 1952 to be used as a beneficial
tool to help patients in psychiatric hospitals and also the sinister MOD research on the effect of LSD on unwitting soldiers. The role of the media, state and police in perversely demonising this drug is also analysed in relation to LSD's use over the last 50 years to the present day. He doesn't pull any punches in describing the ignorant and downright evil punishments perpetrated by an alcohol-fuelled government and its' police force against to those found to have a role in evocating its use as a sacrament and its manufacture and distribution.
The early recreational use by jazz fans and beatniks is carefully related on how this mind-expanding drug fuelled the growth of the spiritual and non-materialistic counter culture and its psychedelic art and music in the 1960's. Every society's development is unique and after the wilting of the illusionary Flower Power, the growth of free festivals movement in Britain took became the 1970's alternative experience for many thousands of people, many of whom today are now signed up to the society that still rates it as class A drug. Then there was Thatcher. And unmercifully onwards as the tribes and their preferred choice of chemical stimulant results in first the combined hippy/ rave events and into the manic but ultimately mild Ecstasy mantra raves and the undemanding (other than being able to sustain oneself) musical/drug acid, house, rave. sub-divisions of today.
He steers wisely from evocating its indiscriminate use but throughout the book he constantly mentions the phrase 'Set and Setting' - which refers to the mind set of the person and the setting where a dose of LSD could become a heavenly or hellish experience.
Albion Dreaming has a host of fascinating new facts, insights, photos . Which contains extensive references and a lengthy bibliography. Andy has created an astonishing and perceptive resource for today's and future generations who might find that LSD does have a role to play in making the world a far better place.
Are you experienced?
Andy is a freelance writer who has contributed to the Archive several years ago regarding the Windsor free festival.
The Archive is as usual interested in this topic as regards to it being an aspect of social history of the counterculture and rock festival scene of the 60s to the late 80s and does not condone or encourage the consumption of any substances that are illegal or which may lead to mental or physical incapacitation by those who consume them .