“What are the roots of psychedelic culture? Why are psychedelics seen as transgressive? How was Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD’s effects entwined with a world at war? In Bicycle Day and other Psychedelic Essays, Alan Piper explores the often forgotten or ignored early histories of psychoactive drugs that helped shape psychedelia.
Falling between the eighteenth century, the Club des Hashischins and the psychedelic sixties, the less explored interwar period has a surprisingly rich culture of drug-induced mind states, which are intimately connected with the birth of modernism. From the literature of Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay and Ernst Jünger, to Harvard peyote experiments, Hofmann’s occultic network and the relationship of Sandoz pharmaceuticals with Nazi Germany, Alan Piper’s collection is a rich tapestry of literary and social drug history.”