One of the most essential works on the 1960s counterculture, Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Test ushered in an era of New Journalism.
This is the seminal work on the hippie culture, a report on what it was like to follow along with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they launched the "Transcontinental Bus Tour" from the West Coast to New York, all while introducing acid (then legal) to hundreds of like-minded folks, staging impromptu jam sessions, dodging the Feds, and meeting some of the most revolutionary figures of the day.
"An American classic" (Newsweek) that defined a generation. "An astonishing book" (The New York Times Book Review) and an unflinching portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, LSD, and the psychedelic 1960s.
Tom Wolfe (1930-2018) was one of the founders of the New Journalism movement and the author of such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, as well as the novels The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. As a reporter, he wrote articles for The Washington Post, the New York Herald Tribune, Esquire, and New York magazine, and is credited with coining the term, “The Me Decade.”
Among his many honors, Tom was awarded the National Book Award, the John Dos Passos Award, the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence, the National Humanities Medal, and National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University, graduating cum laude, and a Ph.D. in American studies at Yale. He lived in New York City.
“Tom Wolfe is a groove and a gas. Everyone should send him money and other fine things. Hats off to Tom Wolfe!” —Terry Southern
“The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is not simply the best book on the hippies, it is the essential book . . . the pushing, ballooning heart of the matter . . . Vibrating dazzle!” —The New York Times
“Some consider Mailer our greatest journalist; my candidate is Wolfe.” —Studs Terkel, Book Week
“A Day-Glo book, illuminating, merry, surreal!” —The Washington Post
“Electrifying.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“An amazing book . . . A book that definitely gives Wolfe the edge on the nonfiction novel.” —The Village Voice
“Among journalists, Wolfe is a genuine poet; what makes him so good is his ability to get inside, to not merely describe (although he is a superb reporter), but to get under the skin of a phenomenon and transmit its metabolic rhythm.” —Newsweek