Monday, April 29, 2013

'I Have America Surrounded'

I'm trying to do my "homework," reading the Prometheus Award ballot (I've just started Sarah Hoyt's Darkship Renegades) but this month I also plan to treat myself by reading JMR Higgs' biography of Timothy Leary, I Have America Surrounded.

The promotional Web site for the book includes a FAQ. I liked this question and answer:

Why is the book called 'I Have America Surrounded'?

A friend sent me the rushes of one of Leary's last filmed interviews (with World of Wonder LA). He was very close to death at that point, very drawn and frail and clearly in a lot of pain. When the interviewer asked him about Nixon calling him 'the most dangerous man in America' he nodded solemnly and replied in a completely deadpan tone, "It's true. I have America surrounded." It just struck me as quintessentially Timothy Leary, very funny, utterly absurd and yet guaranteed to wind up anyone who doesn't get the joke. I can't imagine anyone but Leary coming up with that sentence, so it had to be the title.

In the FAQ, Higgs says it covers Leary's ideas such as imprinting, reality tunnels and the 8-circuit model, so it seems like the book would be good background for understanding many of RAW's ideas.


gacord said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself. I think you will, too. And you shouldn't be surprised if ole Pope Bob shows up in there a little bit.

PQ said...

I've only just begun to get into Leary's work the last few months and have been eagerly looking forward to reading both this book and "Flashbacks".