Psychedelic Revolutionaries recounts the history of hallucinogenic-drug research in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the roles played by Humphry Osmond, Abram Hoffer, and Duncan Blewett. They broke new ground in the 1950s and 60s in the use of hallucinogens like mescaline and LSD, the formulation of biochemical hypotheses for schizophrenia, and the development of therapies to treat alcoholism--until Timothy Leary hit the scene and undermined everything with his public pronouncements. Delving into the experiments, the researchers, as well as connections to notables like Aldous Huxley, Linus Pauling, and Alcoholics Anonymous Co-Founder Bill W, Psychedelic Revolutionaries examines popularly held myths surrounding the drugs. It shows how the Saskatchewan research made extensive contributions to this scientific field and led to radical innovations in mental health, many of which have applications and relevance today.
P.W. Barber has spent the better part of a decade researching, pondering, and writing on the history of hallucinogenic science in the prairie province of Saskatchewan—the birthplace of “psychedelic.” During this time he has also worked as an analyst in the area of Canadian Indigenous health and social policy. His next book project focuses on the relationship that exists between Canadian health worldviews and Indigenous health worldviews as uncovered in government policies and in the wider culture of the 1960s and 70s.