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Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities

Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Tom Wolfe. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1968.

The world chronicled by Wolfe, of Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters, the Hippy movement, the Grateful Dead, and Kool-Aid laced with LSD, directly precedes Wavy Gravy’s move to Hog Farm where the spirit of Haight-Ashbury became somewhat transformed into agrarian reformation—without losing its psychedelic dimension.




Hog Farm began as a communal pig farm in California in 1966 but it moved to New Mexico, near Taos. Hugh Romney, known as the comic Wavy Gravy, a veteran of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters and their psychedelic school bus, served as leader and guru. By 1969, Hog Farmers gave their attention to aiding freaked-out youngsters, raising money for relief efforts, and bringing their message to college students. As the Yale Daily News reported in February, 1969, Romney and friends entertained with “huge group games” trying to get the audience to understand that “we are not our brother’s keeper, we are our brothers.” The they repeated their hippie ideal a schools, hospitals, SDS meetings: “May all beings be peaceful!”

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