The Most Dangerous Man in America

Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD


By Bill Minutaglio

By Steven L. Davis

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From Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, authors of the PEN Center USA award-winning Dallas 1963, comes a madcap narrative about Timothy Leary’s daring prison escape and run from the law.

On the moonlit evening of September 12, 1970, an ex-Harvard professor with a genius I.Q. studies a twelve-foot high fence topped with barbed wire. A few months earlier, Dr. Timothy Leary, the High Priest of LSD, had been running a gleeful campaign for California governor against Ronald Reagan. Now, Leary is six months into a ten-year prison sentence for the crime of possessing two marijuana cigarettes.

Aided by the radical Weather Underground, Leary’s escape from prison is the counterculture’s union of “dope and dynamite,” aimed at sparking a revolution and overthrowing the government. Inside the Oval Office, President Richard Nixon drinks his way through sleepless nights as he expands the war in Vietnam and plots to unleash the United States government against his ever-expanding list of domestic enemies. Antiwar demonstrators are massing by the tens of thousands; homemade bombs are exploding everywhere; Black Panther leaders are threatening to burn down the White House; and all the while Nixon obsesses over tracking down Timothy Leary, whom he has branded “the most dangerous man in America.”

Based on freshly uncovered primary sources and new firsthand interviews, The Most Dangerous Man in America is an American thriller that takes readers along for the gonzo ride of a lifetime. Spanning twenty-eight months, President Nixon’s careening, global manhunt for Dr. Timothy Leary winds its way among homegrown radicals, European aristocrats, a Black Panther outpost in Algeria, an international arms dealer, hash-smuggling hippies from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and secret agents on four continents, culminating in one of the trippiest journeys through the American counterculture.



Timothy Leary met with one of us many years ago on a humid, rainy day in Houston. It was a time when he was trying desperately to uncover what had been done to him during his life as a fugitive running from the president of the United States.

As he sipped some beers and curled up in a creaky wooden chair in one of the oldest bars in the city, he said he was having little success getting to the deeply hidden truths that might detail how he was once hunted by Richard Nixon’s FBI and CIA as “the most dangerous man in America.”

In several subsequent conversations, Leary began to look forward, predicting, accurately, that the world would be connected via computers and that space exploration and travel might become more commonplace. But still, he remained achingly wistful about the massive secrets he’d never fathom while he was alive—the specifics of how, in one burst of time, he had been at the utter mercy of bomb-throwing revolutionaries, gun-toting militants, an international arms smuggler, secret agents on four continents, and even the occupant of the Oval Office.

This book is not a biography of Timothy Leary. Its goal is to finally reveal a dramatic, hidden piece of modern American history—a madly careening, twenty-eight-month global hunt for one man.

Thousands of freshly available and unexamined primary resources were used: court documents, personal letters, criminal files, secret government cables, internal paperwork from foreign governments, and audiotapes recorded clandestinely at the White House. Hundreds of boxes of archival material from New York, California, Washington, Texas, the District of Columbia, Algeria, Afghanistan, and Switzerland were consulted, many for the first time. Key foot soldiers in the hunt for Leary gave their first interviews.

News accounts translated from sources in Europe unearthed fresh details. Previously sealed FBI documents—publicly available for the first time—were used to construct the chronology and conversations. The once-elusive facts behind Leary’s life on the lam were also finally corralled with help from Leary’s longtime personal archivist—and the New York Public Library curator who oversaw the unveiling of Leary’s personal papers. This book is built on primary sources and firsthand accounts. Strict attention is paid to exact dialogue and quotes from Leary, Nixon, and others. Interior thoughts and monologue derived from memoirs and primary sources are presented in italics. A complete list of endnotes is available on our websites.

In the end, a startling truth emerged: Timothy Leary and Richard Nixon had much more in common than they ever knew. Each led an outsize, prolific life. Each saw truth as a cosmically malleable enterprise.

Each man thought the other was leading America to hell.

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis


Some Bad Guy

July 23, 1971

It is high summer in Washington, DC, another blistering day, and President Richard Nixon is stepping from the Oval Office into the adjoining Cabinet Room. He can see the Rose Garden outside, but he orders the drapes drawn shut. He is feeling surrounded by enemies:

Anti-war radicals are bombing the Capitol and other government buildings. Black Panther militants are calling for Nixon’s execution. There are explosions and fires in cities around the nation. Even worse, as far as Nixon is concerned, are the attacks from the Democrats and the media that threaten to undermine his reelection campaign.

He has decided to strike back, to wage war and do it hard.

Today he is putting the final touches on the creation of a top secret White House counterespionage team, an elite group of loyalists who have sworn to destroy Nixon’s political enemies. The president is thrilled with one of its chief operatives—an ex-FBI agent named G. Gordon Liddy.

Inside the Cabinet Room, Nixon’s aides and trusted cabinet officers file in behind him. The president takes his seat in a leather chair taller than the others. Only Nixon knows that two microphones are hidden underneath the wooden table, with wires that run to a voice-activated recorder hidden inside a locker in the basement.

Today the president is disturbed by the latest polls. Although he has declared a war on drugs, the American people say he is at his weakest when it comes to fighting the counterculture.

“We got to keep talking about it, we got to keep hitting it,” he tells the others. Nixon is growing testy, musing aloud about those enemies, like the Democrats and Teddy Kennedy, being friends with “the hopheads”—with pot smokers. Why can’t people understand him or appreciate what he’s doing for America?

“I have done a lot… but it doesn’t seem to get through,” Nixon says glumly.

Treasury Secretary John Connally speaks up in his thick-as-molasses Texas drawl, suggesting that Nixon hasn’t picked one clear “drug enemy” that he can target.

“You are not identified vis-à-vis an identifiable character or an identifiable incident, something that stays in the minds of people,” explains Connally.

“Some bad guy!” adds a suddenly intrigued Nixon.

Connally suggests that Nixon needs to find a single figurehead to crucify as the poster child for the drug problem in the United States. Someone who is “head of the drug business in this country,” Connally adds.

“That’s right!” responds Nixon, his mood brightening. “That would be something quite dramatic.”

Several of Nixon’s aides begin chattering at once, talking over one another. Everyone agrees that Nixon needs to find an identifiable villain, like the notorious Mafia warlords Carlo Gambino or Lucky Luciano, whom he can turn into the face of the enemy.

Someone Nixon can capture and hold aloft as a symbol.

“We’ve got to find a way to identify him,” Nixon says as more shouting erupts. “Good guy against bad guy!”

Connally interjects again: “Well, there is this guy, the guy who went to Algeria,” he drawls.

“Leary, Leary, Leary… Timothy Leary, Timothy Leary!” Nixon and his aides begin shouting.

The room convulses in excited laughter.

Nixon bellows triumphantly to the others:

“Well, we’ve got room in the prisons for him!”



Fourteen Months Earlier

John… people used to say to me… “Did the Buddha use drugs? Did the Buddha go on television?” I’d say, “Ahh—he would’ve. He would’ve.”



Morning, May 13, 1970

Inmate 26358 is behind a wire cage, swaying with the movement of a California prison bus curling along the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s Wednesday, Dr. Timothy Leary’s eighty-fourth day of captivity, and he is being reassigned to a new prison home. He’s carrying all his possessions in a small cardboard box—two packs of Bugler roll-your-own cigarette tobacco, two ballpoint pens, and rubber shower shoes that are a good-bye present from a murderer he met in another state facility.

He is turning fifty in a few months and he’s hard of hearing but with a full head of wavy, silver-threaded hair. Lean and tan, he has the rakish good looks of an aging tennis pro at a country club, albeit one with a genius IQ, who can quote Socrates and the Bhagavad Gita while lecturing on the seven levels of consciousness or the physiological nature of a woman’s orgasm. The other prisoners on the bus—killers, thieves, and rapists on their way to Folsom or San Quentin—know his reputation. He is the godfather of the psychedelic 1960s, the High Priest of LSD who advised young people to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

The black-and-white prison bus rattles past Ventura, and Leary tries to glimpse the whitecaps of the Pacific Ocean from behind the grimy windows. He sees a group of wetsuit-clad surfers paddling out to catch some waves. At a stoplight in Santa Barbara, he glances over and sees a man in a convertible with a beautiful woman riding shotgun, her long hair blowing in the breeze. Leary sighs and looks away.

A few hours earlier, at 3 a.m., he had been immersed in a sultry dream: I’m in an exquisite house in Santa Monica, the ocean lapping outside. There is a naked woman lowering herself onto a fur rug in front of a fireplace. Some bluesy Janis Joplin music is oozing from a stereo. The reclining woman whispers to me in a velvety, druggy voice: “All I want is to feel good… just keep me high.” It was getting good, much better, until the guards suddenly barked at him in midslumber and told him to gather his shit for the trip to his new prison.

At Pismo Beach the bus chugs through the mountains and when the road opens again, Leary can see the city of San Luis Obispo ahead, surrounded by soft green hills. Soon they are passing the sprawling Cal Poly university campus, just reopening after California governor Ronald Reagan shut it down for four days following nationwide student protests.

Suddenly, another prisoner on the bus is shouting and pointing. Leary and the others turn to look. The con is gesturing toward Poly Mountain, with its fifty-foot-tall concrete P overlooking the university. Next to the giant P, some renegade students have added two new letters. Now the hillside spells out POT. The prisoners laugh and cheer.

Two miles past the campus, the California Men’s Colony–West comes into view. Clusters of simple white wooden barracks are spread out against the foothills, dotted with blooming trees. As they draw closer, Leary sees a group of old inmates playing shuffleboard while others waddle across cracked tennis courts. In the distance, out on the stark prison golf course, another prisoner is taking a practice swing before launching a drive.

CMC-West is a minimum-security facility, designed for older men who pose little threat of violence. The perimeter is patrolled at night by gun trucks with sharpshooters inside, but the only physical barrier to the outside world is a twelve-foot-tall chain-link fence, topped by three looping strands of barbed wire. Leary has been trying to get himself transferred here ever since he got sentenced. When he took the standard prison personality test that would help authorities determine where to assign him, Leary knew exactly how to reply in order to seem as docile as possible. He had designed many of the test questions himself in his earlier incarnation as a nationally respected psychologist.

As the bus lurches to the drop-off zone, one of the prisoners suddenly shouts at Leary:

“Hey, man, this is the end of the line. The Department of Correction sent you here to die.”

Leary lets the words wash over him.

He is already studying the prison layout.

In Washington, Richard Nixon’s White House is anxious for any new FBI leads about the wave of extraordinary bombings splintering the nation. Even as Leary’s bus ferried him up the California coast, a massive dynamite attack rocked the police station in Des Moines, Iowa, shattering windows and setting nearby cars on fire. In Salt Lake City, Utah, a homemade bomb blew apart the entrance to the local National Guard building.

Meanwhile, agents are still pursuing suspects from a bloody tragedy in New York City. Revolutionaries calling themselves “the Weathermen” had been working on a nail bomb, plotting to detonate it during a military dance at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Instead, the bomb exploded in their hands, reducing a four-story townhouse in Greenwich Village to rubble. Three of the radicals were killed. Two women emerged from the smoking ruin, bloody and dazed. Taken in by unsuspecting neighbors, they showered and were given clothes—and then they vanished.

Just last week, at Kent State University, National Guard troops fired sixty-seven shots at students protesting President Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War. Four underclassmen were gunned to death, including two young women. Two of the slain students had simply been walking to class. Nine others were wounded by gunfire. Nixon, who’d denounced student demonstrators as “bums,” defended the National Guard and blamed the victims: “When dissent turns to violence, it invites tragedy,” he lectured. California governor Ronald Reagan had already demanded a crackdown on campus protesters: “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with,” Reagan warned. “No more appeasement.”

Since Kent State, millions of college students across the country have gone on strike, taking to the streets. At the University of Wisconsin, Molotov cocktails ignited buildings and bonfires blazed as students hurled bricks, stones, and bottles at six hundred riot police and guardsmen. At the University of South Carolina, a thousand students smashed into the administration building, ransacking offices and destroying files. At the University of New Mexico, eleven students were bayoneted by National Guardsmen after taking over the Student Union Building. At the University of California, Berkeley, protesters torched an ROTC truck and tore down an American flag, setting it on fire and chanting: “Burn, Nixon, burn.

In the White House, and sometimes in public, Nixon is increasingly brooding, even scaring his aides when his ire toward his enemies explodes into rage. “We live in an age of anarchy… We see mindless attacks on all the great institutions which have been created by free civilizations in the last five hundred years,” he thunders in a speech to the nation. Who is turning these kids, the most affluent and entitled generation in history, against America?

In Nixon’s Oval Office and Ronald Reagan’s governor’s mansion, it is becoming easier and easier to connect the unrest to one man, to link Dr. Timothy Leary with the violence, to see him as a Robespierre on acid, a kingpin hell-bent on unraveling the normal order. He is a subversive, a hippie rebel leader summoning his army, a sociocultural terrorist whose real master plan is to blow up the nation’s moral compass in the name of free love and drugs.

Leary is becoming, in the words of Richard Nixon, “the most dangerous man in America.”

A decade ago, as a prominent Harvard psychologist, Leary had achieved a comfortable life. He was the son of an Irish Catholic dentist from a quiet town in Massachusetts. He had attended the College of the Holy Cross and then became a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He had been court-martialed for a variety of minor infractions, honorably discharged, and then had begun his march through the academic ranks. At Harvard, he easily nestled into an Ivy League cocoon of faculty parties, scholarly articles in scientific journals, and blowing off steam with a round of martinis. But he knew something was missing: “I was a middle-aged man involved in the middle-aged process of dying.”

On the cusp of his fortieth birthday, he ingested psychoactive mushrooms considered sacred by the Aztecs. “I came back a changed man,” he said. “I learned more in the six or seven hours of this experience than in all my years as a psychologist.”

He cofounded the Harvard Psilocybin Project and began researching the curative powers of hallucinogenic drugs, experimenting on himself, his friends, and even his children. Soon, he found his way to a little-known chemical, lysergic acid diethylamide, a drug so powerful that a microscopic dose could rocket him into the same transcendent realm sought by shamans and mystics.

LSD’s creator, Albert Hofmann, viewed the drug as “medicine for the soul.” Leary concurred—and went even further. If nuclear weapons represented man’s grip on the universe’s destructive power, LSD was the opposite: “The exact antidote to atomic energy. People take LSD and FLASH! They get the message and start putting things back in harmony with the great design. Stop war. Wear flowers. Conservation. Turning on people to LSD is the precise and only way to keep war from blowing up the whole system.”

Leary’s experiments brought disagreeable publicity, and Harvard finally dismissed him for his psychedelic zeal. But he no longer cared about advancing his Ivy League career. Instead, he wanted to share his realizations with the world.

He envisioned leading a mass conversion, a planetary spiritual awakening guided by LSD. And he turned out to be a natural showman, very good in front of crowds. He flashed a knowing smile as he promoted LSD’s mind-expanding capabilities, suggesting it could cure many of society’s ills. To prison authorities he claimed it would reduce recidivism. To politicians he whispered that the Kennedys had already turned on. To religious leaders he vowed they would see God. To the readers of Playboy he said, “There is no question that LSD is the most powerful aphrodisiac ever discovered by man… In a carefully prepared, loving LSD session, a woman will inevitably have several hundred orgasms.”

He shelved the tweed jackets and began wearing American Indian headbands, Tibetan meditation beads, and dashikis. Soon his beaming face was everywhere, from magazine covers to television talk shows. His easily memorized mantra—Turn on, tune in, drop out—appeared on bumper stickers and was splashed across T-shirts, quoted by millions of kids around the world.

Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, and other famous new friends sought him out, hoping to glean some knowledge. John Lennon absorbed Leary’s advice on tripping and composed some lyrics for the Beatles: “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream / It is not dying, it is not dying.” And when Lennon and Yoko Ono decided to stage a famous “Bed-In”—curling up for days in a hotel room and hoping that world peace would break out—they invited Timothy Leary to join them. The grinning ex-professor was there, shirtless and at the foot of John Lennon’s bed. He joined in, clapping and happily singing “Give Peace a Chance.” In midtune Lennon shouted a joyous salute: “Timmy Leary!”

In Washington, Nixon and his aides were watching. They were stunned at how Leary garnered so much attention, how he dominated the airwaves and headlines, how huge crowds came to see him. He was not just an LSD Lothario rolling in drugs and orgies, not just another Pied Piper sybarite luring hippie girls. He was talking about leading a mind revolution: Congress shall make no law abridging the individual’s right to seek an expanded consciousness.

When Nixon tried to stanch the flow of marijuana across the Mexican border with Operation Intercept, Leary promptly announced his countermove: Operation Turn-On. “They’ve lost the war in Vietnam, and now they are using the same techniques in the war on pot,” Leary proclaimed, urging kids to grow their own marijuana and turn it into a national industry.

The government convicted him for failing to pay the federal marijuana tax, sentencing him to thirty years in prison. But Leary remained free on bond while he appealed, fighting all the way to the Supreme Court. In Leary v. United States, he won unanimously, defeating the Nixon Administration’s lawyers and striking down key marijuana laws.

He celebrated his victory by declaring he would challenge Ronald Reagan in the California gubernatorial election. “Don’t you think I’ve had more experience than Ronnie?” Leary joked to reporters. He promised to legalize pot, selling it through officially sanctioned stores with the tax revenues going into state coffers. He said he would never live in the governor’s mansion—instead he would pitch a teepee on the front lawn and conduct the state’s business from there. His campaign slogan, Come Together, Join the Party, inspired John Lennon to write a song for him that the Beatles recorded as “Come Together.”

But even as he was joyously leading his cultural revolution, Leary could see that things were spinning beyond his control. He had always been careful to portray LSD as a religious experience, emphasizing the need for trained guides to lead people to enlightenment. But too many kids were swallowing LSD like Halloween candy, for kicks. And not everyone was seeing LSD as a manifestation of the inner God. For the unready, the unfit, it had summoned inner demons. Dark stories were spreading about wickedly bad trips, people flying out of windows, and the CIA using LSD for mind control.

And then the nation recoiled in horror in 1969 when a Medusa-haired drifter named Charles Manson—who had dropped acid and divined messianic prophecies in the lyrics of the Beatles—unleashed a bloodbath in California. Manson sent his handpicked cult members to murder five people in a mansion north of Beverly Hills, and then out the next night to stab two more people to death with… forks and knives. Millions of Americans assumed that LSD, Timothy Leary’s sacrament, was driving people insane.

“I’m terribly frightened by LSD,” Governor Ronald Reagan announced. “I think there’s been a great deal of misinformation by those who seem to see no harm in it.”

And now, Nixon, Reagan, and other unnerved leaders are convinced that Timothy Leary has been waging chemical warfare. That he has been brainwashing a generation of young Americans.

To them, there is no real difference between Timothy Leary and Charles Manson.

Even before the White House zeroed in on him, prosecutors and police had been hunting Leary for years. Among the first was G. Gordon Liddy, who invaded Leary’s spiritual retreat in upstate New York. Liddy found nothing but a kilo of peat moss on the first bust. But he kept coming back, finally driving Leary and his family out of the state. At a border crossing at Laredo, Texas, cops unearthed a tiny stash of pot in a snuff box hurriedly tucked inside his teenage daughter’s panties.

There was one more big bust: The day after Christmas in 1968, Leary parked his family station wagon on a dead-end street in Laguna Beach, California. A police cruiser pulled up. The cop insisted he could smell marijuana and began searching the car. With a grunt of pleasure, he finally extracted two charred joints from the ashtray and held them up, victorious. Leary, who had hurtled the cosmos on hundreds of acid trips, saw the officer’s paltry prize and scoffed: “Big deal!”

But the two roaches were a felony in California. They were enough to disqualify Leary from running against Reagan for governor—and to finally send him to prison. The Reagan-appointed judge who imposed the maximum sentence, up to ten years, called Leary an “insidious and detrimental influence on society… A pleasure-seeking, irresponsible Madison Avenue advocate of the free use of LSD and marijuana.”

When Leary was first put behind bars, the jailer slammed the cell door shut and sneered: “For you we throw away the key.”

On the very day that Leary enters the bowels of his new prison, Richard Nixon’s aides are arriving at the Oval Office to brief him on the latest spasms of violence. All week, there has been one explosion after another. When one hundred thousand anti-war activists converged on Washington, a bomb roared inside the headquarters of the National Guard Association. There have been attacks at the Selective Service offices in Hollywood, Oakland, and Detroit. Detonations at military buildings in Longview, Washington; Kent, Ohio; Reading, Pennsylvania; Mankato, Minnesota. Government offices were blown up in Portland, Oregon. There had been an eruption at the Atomic Energy Commission office in Rocky Flats, Colorado. Explosions and fires at Ohio University, Illinois Wesleyan University, the University of Alabama, Valparaiso University, the University of Virginia, Case Western Reserve University, Colorado State University, University of Nevada, DePauw University, the University of Missouri at Columbia, Loyola University in Chicago, and John Carroll University in Ohio.

The FBI is sending reports to Nixon’s aides suggesting that homegrown revolutionaries are holding enough dynamite to bomb a building in the United States every day for thirty straight years—and that they would surely love to blow President Nixon to hell.


Afternoon, May 13, 1970

Inside CMC-West, a burly guard hands Tim his new gear: a small padlock and key for his metal locker. A blue denim jacket. Three pairs of denim pants. Three denim shirts with his prison number stenciled on them.

A trustee leads him past a shaded patio where a bridge tournament is in progress. Inmates look up and shout his name. He walks past garden beds where elderly prisoners are on their hands and knees as they turn over the soil. The trustee points at the tomato plants and brags that the prison grows much of its own food.

Tim walks inside building 324, identical to the other wooden barracks. There are no bars on the windows and the front door remains unlocked. We don’t call them cells here, the trustee says. This is your dormitory. Inside, there’s that sour tang of stale cigarette smoke mixed with the odor of ancient men. Several lifers are gathered like gray seals clumped on the rocks, hunchbacks with parchment-paper faces and homemade tattoos. They begin to move toward him, faces flickering with recognition.


  • "Fascinating...rigorously researched...[THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA] offers the pleasures of the tick-tock genre. Much like Leary himself, the book is plenty of zany fun."—The New York Times
  • "One of the decade's most audacious and exciting stories, told with page-turning panache."—The Boston Globe
  • "...[A] rip-roaring tale of hallucinogenic drugs, revolutionary politics and an intercontinental standoff...Minutaglio and Davis have taken a largely forgotten chapter from the recent past and turned it into a vigorous page-turner."—San Francisco Chronicle
  • "It's a rollicking tale that brings to life the antic atmosphere of America in the 'Me Decade.'"—Wall Street Journal
  • "THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA is a wild ride across time, space, and multiple cosmic planes during an era when America came close to losing -- or finding? -- its mind. Leary and Nixon: surely no other country on earth could have produced such a perfectly, surreally antithetical pair. Crack open this book and prepare to have your mind blown by the reality of this very strange tale."—Ben Fountain, PEN/Hemingway and O. Henry Prize-winning author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories
  • "A pitch-perfect, exhilarating work about one of the strangest chapters in the American experience, one so exciting that even the postscript rivets...A stroke of narrative genius."—Booklist (Starred Review)
  • "A riveting international chase between a tenacious but paranoid cat and a wily but delusional mouse... Minutaglio and Davis are superb storytellers, and throughout the narrative, they nimbly move between their two converging subjects. Their account is expertly detailed and blessedly fat-free."—Kirkus (Starred Review)
  • "The glory of [THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA] is its fast-paced, rollicking narrative that brings the freakishness of the revolutionary 1970s to life. Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis have pulled off a meticulous observation of their subjects with turns of phrases that pop with pleasure. I galloped through the book; could not put it down."—Jan Jarboe Russell, New York Times bestselling author of The Train to Crystal City
  • "Our intrepid authors, pounding the present tense like the brake pedal on a runaway 18-wheeler, narrate a story more wild, inventive, and sex-drenched than a Dennis Hopper movie."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 16.0px Calibri; color: #212121; -webkit-text-stroke: #212121}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic
  • "A vivid, eye-opening alternate view of an especially bizarre period of American history...Far too strange to be fiction, the book brilliantly details an American tragedy of two men, each of whom considered the other to be the most dangerous man in America."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 14.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Calibri; color: #1a1a1a; -webkit-text-stroke: #1a1a1a}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}James Fadiman, PhD., microdose researcher and author of The Psychedelic Explorers' Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys
  • "Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis weave a riveting tale that will keep readers on the edge of their seats."—Bookish
  • "A deeply researched, entertaining, and informative look at the symbolically joined paths Nixon and one of his nemeses, LSD guru Timothy Leary, followed in the early 1970s, the era that would ultimately be defined by Watergate."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • "Can you dig it? In their wild new book, authors Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis...have crafted a hopped-up, sometimes risibly over-the-top narrative that...delivers an outlandish concoction of twists, turns and international intrigue."—Newsday
  • "A vivid evocation of a raucous time in recent American history."—Shelf Awareness

On Sale
Jan 9, 2018
Page Count
416 pages

Bill Minutaglio

About the Author

Bill Minutaglio is the author of several books, including Dallas 1963, for which he won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Research Nonfiction with Steven L. Davis. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Esquire.

Steven L. Davis is the PEN USA-award winning author of four books focusing on iconoclasts, including Dallas 1963 with Bill Minutaglio and J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind. He is the president of the Texas Institute of Letters and a curator at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Learn more about this author