Far Out in America
A German Ethnobotanist’s Wild Roots in the Psychedelic Sixties
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Biographical information about my life in the USA
spiritual, sexual, racial, and political
an amazing autobiography of younger days spent in the eye of the colorful 1960s
America in the 1960s was a hotbed of cultural and intellectual ferment—spiritual, sexual, racial, and political. When I was eleven years old, in 1954, my parents and I had immigrated to the United States from a Germany, which had been ravaged by the Second World War –
just in time for me to experience these 1960s upheavals firsthand. Trying my luck at an array of careers and experimenting with different lifestyles, while at the same time attending college, I encountered hillbillies, hobos, bikers, hippies, scholars, spiritualists, Black Panthers, student revolutionaries, smut peddlers, perverts, and psychedelic explorers—just to name a few.
Through a candidly personal lens I relate these encounters from my own perspective. Unlike most books about the sixties, Far Out in America steers clear of overly romanticized nostalgia and the moralizing handwringing of cultural conservatives. It is a vivid portrait of a country that is neither what its detractors, nor its defenders, imagine it to be. For me, a social outsider who sampled freely from everything this acid-drenched era had to offer, the strangest trip of all may have been the American experience itself.