Distilled Spirits: Getting High, Then Sober, with a Famous Writer, a Forgotten Philosopher, and a Hopeless Drunk


Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.0 X 1.1 inches | 1.25 pounds
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About the Author

Don Lattin is the author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America, Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge, Following Our Bliss: How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape our Lives Today and Shopping for Faith: American Religion in the New Millennium. For more information, please visit www.donlattin.com.


"A successful peek through many different lenses by a highly motivated truth seeker who is also a meticulous researcher and an excellent storyteller, able to bring to life not just the ideas of three remarkable individuals, but the individuals themselves."--Peter Magnani"San Jose Mercury News" (10/18/2012)
"Vividly written, about an exceptionally interesting subject, and imbued with the kind of gravity and understanding only someone who's been there and back can understand."--Ellen Cushing"East Bay Express" (10/17/2012)
"The religion journalist weaves his own memoir into the stories of three key figures in Western religion: the author of Brave New World, an Anglo-Irish mystic, and the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous."--Kristin Yinger"Los Angeles Magazine" (10/01/2012)
"I congratulate Don for an honest exposure of his own remarkable story, wrapped in the amazing tale of these three great spirits from history."--Carl T. Hall"Pacific Media Workers Guild" (10/10/2012)
"Lattin's intriguing assemblage of vignettes illustrates how much of the eruption of new spiritual ideas in 20th-century California can be traced to a surprisingly few key people and moments."--Cherie Ann Parker"Shelf Awareness (2 Copies)" (10/30/2012)
"Right up until the end, this book felt like one of those fancy cocktails: different liquors occupying different layers, each with its own distinctive color. . . . The book is about wending one's way in and out of intoxicating substances in a noble but messy effort to discover some universal truth."-- (02/08/2013)
"The key figure in this 'blend of memoir and biography' is Lattin, whose narrative arc might be the strangest. He somehow balanced his religion reportage with a descent into cocaine addiction and alcoholism, and he sees this book as a crucial element in his ongoing sobriety. . . . 'One of the things I learned from AA is that many of us drink in an effort to quench a religious thirst, ' he writes. 'It's how we get some temporary relief from the spiritual emptiness.'"-- (08/15/2012)