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Lsd, My Problem Child

by Albert Hofmann

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Book Description
This is the story of LSD told by a concerned yet hopeful father, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. He traces LSD's path from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug sparking hysteria and prohibition.

We follow Dr. Hofmann's trek across Mexico to discover sacred plants related to LSD, and listen in as he corresponds with other notable figures about his remarkable discovery.

Underlying it all is Dr. Hofmann's powerful conclusion that mystical experience may be our planet's best hope for survival. Whether induced by LSD, meditation, or arising spontaneously, such experiences help us to comprehend "the wonder, the mystery of the divine‹in the microcosm of the atom, in the macrocosm of the spiral nebula, in the seeds of plants, in the body and soul of people."

More than sixty years after the birth of Albert Hofmann's problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant, and more needed, than ever.

Language Notes
Text: English, German (translation)

About the Author
Albert Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland in 1906. He graduated from the University of Zürich with a degree in chemistry in 1929 and went to work for Sandoz Pharmaceutical in Basel, Switzerland. With the laboratory goal of working towards isolation of the active principles of known medicinal plants, Hofmann worked with Mediterranean squill (Scilla maritima) for several years, before moving on to the study of Claviceps purpurea (ergot) and ergot alkaloids.

Over the next few years, he worked his way through the lysergic acid derivatives, eventually synthesizing LSD-25 for the first time in 1938. After minimal testing, LSD-25 was set aside as he continued with other derivatives. Four years later, on April 16, 1943, he re-synthesized LSD-25 because he felt he might have missed something the first time around. That day, he became the first human to experience the effects of LSD after accidentally ingesting a minute amount. Three days later, on April 19, 1943, he decided to verify his results by intentionally ingesting 250 ug of LSD. This day has become known as "Bicycle Day" as Hofmann experienced an incredible bicycle ride on his way home from the lab.

In addition to his discovery of LSD, he was also the first to synthesize psilocybin (the active constituent of 'magic mushrooms') in 1958. Albert Hofmann, known as the 'father of LSD', continued to work at Sandoz until 1971 when he retired as Director of Research for the Department of Natural Products. Since that time he has continued to write, lecture, and play a leading role as an elder in the psychedelic community.



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