57 pages 1 hour read

Tom Wolfe

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 1968

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Index of Terms

Acid Test

Acid Tests were a series of parties on the West Coast in the 1960s in which Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters introduced LSD to new users. Some of the features included what became known as mixed media entertainment, in which strobe lights, a live band, typically the Grateful Dead, and continuous film projections mixed together to heighten the psychedelic experience.

Beat Generation

The Beat Generation was an American countercultural literary movement that arose in the 1950s focused on works that explored sexual liberation, the use of psychedelic drugs, and a rejection of economic materialism. Some of the most famous writers of the Beat Generation include Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs. Neal Cassady, who was one of the Merry Pranksters inner circle members, was also heavily associated with the Beat Generation as he was the model for the primary character in Kerouac’s novel On the Road. Tom Wolfe makes the case that the Merry Pranksters, and especially Ken Kesey, were something of a bridge between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the Hippies of the late-1960s.