Flashbacks (book)

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Flashbacks: A Personal and Cultural History of an Era
Flashbacks (first edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorTimothy Leary
CountryUnited States
Published1983 (G. P. Putnam's Sons)
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)

Flashbacks: A Personal and Cultural History of an Era is Timothy Leary's autobiography, published in 1983. It was reprinted in 1990 and 1997. The new edition has a foreword by William S. Burroughs, and a new afterword by Leary.

A double cassette album which contains Leary reading selections of Flashbacks was published under the same name in 1989 by Dove Books on Tape, Inc.

Publishing details[edit]

Flashbacks was published by Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Angeles, on May 1, 1983 (hardcover, ISBN 0-87477-177-3). It was reprinted in 1990 by Tarcher (paperback, ISBN 0-87477-497-7), and reprinted by Tarcher again in 1997 (paperback, ISBN 0-87477-870-0).


Andrew Weil described the book as having, '...solid information about the psychedelic revolution of the Sixties'[1] while Rick Strassman said he used the book, '...to avoid repeating Leary’s mistakes in his own research'.[2]

“I hid from the press," Strassman said, "kept religion and spirituality out of my writings while I was doing research, avoided studying undergraduates, studied no more than one student per department if I did use students as volunteers… and made certain my data were more important than anything else”.[3]

John Higgs suggests that Flashbacks contains, '...embellishments, point scoring and omissions'. He suggests however, that 'despite its flaws, there is still much about the book to praise'.[4] Leary's biographer Robert Greenfield writes that much of what Leary "reported as fact in Flashbacks is pure fantasy".[5]


  1. ^ Weil, Andrew (2000). "Flashbacks". The Vaults of Erowid.
  2. ^ "Psychedelics 2.0 and the Shadow of the Sixties". Psychology Today. February 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "Psychedelics 2.0 and the Shadow of the Sixties". Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. February 4, 2014.
  4. ^ Higgs, John (2006). I Have America Surrounded - The Life of Timothy Leary. Friday Books. p. 277. ISBN 1905548257.
  5. ^ Greenfield, Robert (2006). Timothy Leary: A Biography. Harcourt, Inc. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-15-603206-3.