The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1968.

Summary from Publisher:

For a start, Kesey’s own life with the Merry Pranksters is perhaps the consummate example of a phenomenon that, in 1968, baffled the national imagination: the transformation of the “promising middle-class youth with all the advantages” into what was popularly known as “the hippie.” Kesey was more than promising. He was a Golden Boy of the West-a scholar, actor, star athlete, and one of the outstanding novelists of his generation-when he burst forth as an experimenter with powerful new hallucinogenic drugs, leader of the Merry Pranksters, and, finally, fugitive from the FBI, the California police, and the Mexican Federales.

Tom Wolfe, a journalist already widely known for his exuberant portraiture of the American Bizarre, plunged into the psychedelic world of the Pranksters and emerged with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a now-classic portrait of the coterie which gave the hippie world of the 1960s much of its philosophy and vocabulary. He recounts their romp across America in the first psychedelic bus, their alliance with the Hell’s Angels, their Be-elzebubbling takeover of a Unitarian Church convention, their conversion of the biggest anti-Vietnam rally of all time into a freak-out, their zany games of hide-and-seek from the law in two countries-all with a depth of exploration and a stylistic inventiveness which make The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test one of the most memorable journalistic odysseys of our time.

Table of Contents:

I Black Shiny FBI Shoes
II The Bladder Totem
III The Electric Suit
IV What Do You Think of My Buddha?
V The Rusky-Dusky Neon Dust
VI The Bus
VII Unauthorized Acid
VIII Tootling the Multitudes
IX The Crypt Trip
X Dream Wars
XI The Unspoken Thing
XII The Bust
XIII The Hell’s Angels
XIV A Miracle in Seven Days
XV Cloud
XVI The Frozen Jug Band
XVII Cosmo’s Tasmanian Deviltry
XIX The Trips Festival
XX The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test
XXI The Fugitive
XXII ¡Diablo!
XXIII The Red Tide
XXIV The Mexican Bust
XXV Secret Agent Number One
XXVI The Cops and Robbers Game
XXVII The Graduation

Online: (excerpt)
Google books (first three chapters available)