Teacher Guide

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe, is one of the first books written in the style of New Journalism. The book follows Ken Kesey, at the time a rising literary star, who stops focusing on his writing career to lead a group called The Merry Pranksters, obsessed with taking LSD and with an image of perfect freedom. After trying LSD in a clinical drug trial, Kesey recognized it as a potentially powerful mechanism to transform reality and bring people together.

Wolfe's writing chronicles the Pranksters' lifestyle and the start of the movement, which in turn, spurs other countercultural groups and events. The book provides deep commentary on the shifting social and political...

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