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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oz Fritz reviews the new Timothy Leary biography

I'm still getting caught up on my Timothy Leary education. By contrast, Oz Fritz already knows a lot about Leary, and he recommends the new, free Timothy Leary book, Timothy Leary's Trip Through Time by R.U. Sirius (free download is here.)

Oz has a long, thoughtful review at his blog.  Oz thinks Sirius' book is an ideal introduction for people who little nothing about Leary aside from the media caricature of Leary as a drug-addled clown. But it's also for well-informed Leary fans, says Oz, who cites specific bits of the book that surprised and pleased him. (Oz has read the other two Leary bios and also apparently has read all of Leary's books that provide biographical information.)

Sample quote from Oz's review: "All of the bases are covered here.  However, to flesh out the picture, I highly recommend reading the other two biographies, as well.  I Have America Surrounded by John Higgs gives a sympathetic, sometimes empathic presentation of Leary's life without shying away from some of the darker aspects.  Timothy Leary: A Biography by Robert Greenfield, though also well written, often comes across as a butcherous hack job by someone who clearly appears jealous and envious of his subject and so feels the need to put him down as much as possible.  It reminds me of John Symond's biography of Aleister Crowley, The Great Beast.  Yet, Greenfield's bio has much useful material when sifting out his bias.  Toward the end of TLTTT Sirius accurately points out the flaws in Greenfield's book but also acknowledges his debt to it."


michael said...

I admired Oz Fritz's review as well. When I read the Greenfield bio I had not read Symonds's bio of Crowley, but I have since. And I did not think of the Greenfield after the Symonds but now that Oz mentions it, it's a brilliant comparison.

I have yet to get to RU's recent work because of my obdurate stance towards e-books, but I may have to bend a bit here.

Oz Fritz said...

Thanks for the link Tom!
For those who may not know, TLTTT stands for Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time which is the title of R.U. Sirius' bio on him.