Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

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Joining us this week are Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, authors of THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: TIMOTHY LEARY, RICHARD NIXON AND THE HUNT FOR THE FUGITIVE KING OF LSD (Twelve Books, January 9, 2018).

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Photo by Dennis Darling

Bill Minutaglio is the author of several books, including Dallas 1963, for which he won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Research Nonfiction with Steven L. Davis. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Esquire.

Steven L. Davis is the PEN USA-award winning author of four books focusing on iconoclasts, including DALLAS 1963 with Bill Minutaglio and J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind. He is the president of the Texas Institute of Letters and a curator at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Editorial Reviews –  THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: Timothy  Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD

“Has ‘movie written all over it… riveting…crackling… Grab this book and enjoy the trip.”―The Dallas Morning News

“Much like Leary himself, the book is plenty of zany fun!” ―New York Times

“A rip-roaring tale… a vigorous page-turner.”―The San Francisco Chronicle

“One of the decade’s most audacious and exciting stories, told with page-turning panache.”―The Boston Globe

“A pitch-perfect, exhilarating work about one of the strangest chapters in the American experience, one so exciting that even the postscript rivets… A stroke of narrative genius.”―Booklist (Starred Review)

“…. [A] wild ride across time, space, and multiple cosmic planes during an era when America came close to losing — or finding? — its mind. …. Crack open this book and prepare to have your mind blown by the reality of this very strange tale.”―Ben Fountain, PEN/Hemingway and O. Henry Prize-winning author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“A riveting international chase between a tenacious but paranoid cat and a wily but delusional mouse… Minutaglio and Davis are superb storytellers… Their account is expertly detailed and blessedly fat-free”―Kirkus (Starred Review)

“Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis weave a riveting tale that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”―Bookish

“The glory of [the book] is its fast-paced, rollicking narrative that brings the freakishness of the revolutionary 1970s to life….I galloped through the book; could not put it down.”―Jan Jarboe Russell, NYT bestselling author of The Train to Crystal City

“Our intrepid authors, pounding the present tense like the brake pedal on a runaway 18-wheeler, narrate a story more wild, inventive, and sex-drenched than a Dennis Hopper movie.”― Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic

“A vivid, eye-opening alternate view of an especially bizarre period of American history…Far too strange to be fiction, the book brilliantly details an American tragedy of two men, each of whom considered the other to be the most dangerous man in America.”― James Fadiman, PhD., microdose researcher and author of The Psychedelic Explorers’ Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

 About –  THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: Timothy  Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD

From Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, authors of the PEN Center USA award-winning Dallas 1963, comes a madcap narrative about Timothy Leary’s daring prison escape and run from the law.

On the moonlit evening of September 12, 1970, an ex-Harvard professor with a genius I.Q. studies a twelve-foot high fence topped with barbed wire. A few months earlier, Dr. Timothy Leary, the High Priest of LSD, had been running a gleeful campaign for California governor against Ronald Reagan. Now, Leary is six months into a ten-year prison sentence for the crime of possessing two marijuana cigarettes.

Aided by the radical Weather Underground, Leary’s escape from prison is the counterculture’s union of “dope and dynamite,” aimed at sparking a revolution and overthrowing the government. Inside the Oval Office, President Richard Nixon drinks his way through sleepless nights as he expands the war in Vietnam and plots to unleash the United States government against his ever-expanding list of domestic enemies. Antiwar demonstrators are massing by the tens of thousands; homemade bombs are exploding everywhere; Black Panther leaders are threatening to burn down the White House; and all the while Nixon obsesses over tracking down Timothy Leary, whom he has branded “the most dangerous man in America.”

Based on freshly uncovered primary sources and new firsthand interviews, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA is an American thriller that takes readers along for the gonzo ride of a lifetime. Spanning twenty-eight months, President Nixon’s careening, global manhunt for Dr. Timothy Leary winds its way among homegrown radicals, European aristocrats, a Black Panther outpost in Algeria, an international arms dealer, hash-smuggling hippies from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and secret agents on four continents, culminating in one of the trippiest journeys through the American counterculture. Twelve Books/ Grand Central Publishing 

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, previously teamed up for DALLAS 1963 (Twelve Books, 2013), about the radicalism that fomented in that city in the years leading up to the Kennedy assassination.

DALLAS 1963 was winner of the PEN USA Award for Research Nonfiction.

An Amazon Best History Book of the Year

One of the Five Essential Kennedy Assassination Books Ever Written ―the Daily Beast

One of the Best Books of the Year: Kirkus, The New Republic, Washington Post’s “The Fix,” the Seattle Times, The Oklahoman, The Kansas City Star

“After fifty years, it’s a challenge to fashion a new lens with which to view the tragic events of November 22, 1963—yet Texans [Minutaglio and Davis] pull it off brilliantly. ” ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A chilling … vivid picture of a volatile city … The accounts of events in 1963 unfold in the book like a thriller novel.”Associated Press

“This engrossing narrative vividly captures the tensions in the Kennedy-Dallas crucible…and will grip readers interested in the roots of Kennedy’s political challenges and his assassination.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis’s Dallas 1963 is a brilliantly written, haunting eulogy to John F. Kennedy. By exposing the right-wing hatred aimed at our 35th president, the authors demonstrates that America—not just Lee Harvey Oswald—was ultimately responsible for his death. Every page is an eye opener. Highly recommended!”―Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and author of Cronkite

“All the great personalities of Dallas during the assassination come alive in this superb rendering of a city on a roller coaster into disaster. History has been waiting fifty years for this book.”―Lawrence Wright, staff writer with The New Yorker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower and Going Clear

“The authors demonstrate in luxuriant detail just how clotted Dallas was with right-wing types in the period before Kennedy’s fatal visit.” The New Yorker

“With tremendously good research and graceful storytelling, the authors reveal the accelerating power of reactionary politics. Readers get close to the lives of an extraordinary cast of characters…Dallas 1963 holds a wealth of riveting information and Minutaglio and Davis often make brilliant connections between the unfolding politics of nation, state, and city — and the violent stakes beneath them all.”Christian Science Monitor

“Dallas 1963 is a significant addition to the JFK canon.”BookPage

“Dallas 1963 shows Minutaglio and Davis doing what they do best: sifting through history recent and past for fresh insights and forgotten details to craft a tale that’s uncomfortably relevant given the contemporary political climate.”Austin American Statesman

“Spotlighting the local cabal of hard-right extremists — politicians, business leaders, media executives, and clergymen — who considered the president a traitor, Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis construct a riveting portrait of a city roiled by paranoia and hate.”Parade

“In this harrowing, masterfully-paced depiction of a disaster waiting to happen, Minutaglio and Davis examine a prominent American city in its now-infamous moment of temporary insanity. Because those days of partisan derangement look all too familiar today, DALLAS 1963 isn’t just a gripping narrative—it’s also a somber cautionary tale.”― Robert Draper, contributor, New York Times Magazine and author of Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives