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Michael Horowitz
Photo by Jon Hanna, 2005
Michael Horowitz
Photo by Timothy Leary, 1972
Erowid Character Vaults
Michael Horowitz
Michael Horowitz is a historian, author, archivist, and bookseller working in the field of psychoactive plants and drugs. He has co-edited several topical books with his wife, Cynthia Palmer, and with Karen Walls and Billy Smith, he compiled an exhaustive annotated bibliography of Timothy Leary's works.

Horowitz first met Leary in the summer of 1970, when Leary was in prison facing ten years, plotting his escape, and worried that the government would seize his archives. Leary was therefore quite happy to turn his collected papers and books over to Horowitz and his partner Robert Barker for safekeeping, which secured Horowitz a position as Leary's archivist. Horowitz retained the materials while Leary was incarcerated and in exile during the 1970s, and he has worked to preserve and disseminate Leary's works since that time. (Over the course of their existence, Leary's archives have been taken by the FBI, the subject of a Grand Jury Investigation, eventually returned to Leary, recently digitized, and even more recently obtained by the New York Public Library.)

As an avid bibliophile and economically challenged member of the hippie counterculture, there were times when Horowitz had to make the hard decision between spending money on food and purchasing some highly desired tome that he had come across. Books often won out over bagels, and over the years Horowitz compiled an astonishing number of titles. In the same year that he met Leary, Horowitz decided to merge his own book collection with those of Robert Barker and William Dailey, in order to co-found a library named in honor of Fitz Hugh Ludlow, author of the first American book on the psychoactive drug experience, The Hasheesh Eater (1857). Along with acting as a repository, they also published some original books and reprints of classic titles. For a time, the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library was the world's largest collection related to psychoactive plants and drugs, containing over ten thousand books and other materials. However, the library was eventually sold to Julio Mario Santo Domingo Braga, who combined it with his own collection to create the massive Ludlow-Santo Domingo (L.S.D.) Library in Geneva.

Horowitz has been a contributing editor to High Times magazine, and is currently on the Advisory Board for the Psychoactive Substances Research Collection at Purdue University Libraries. These days an ex-pat living in Canada, Horowitz continues to run Flashback Books (the mail order company he founded in 1985), which deals in rare books, periodicals, and other printed materials related to psychoactives.

Author of (Books)
  • Flashback Books catalogs 1-16 (1985-2008)
  • Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience [with Cynthia Palmer; an updated edition of their book Shaman Woman, Mainline Lady] (2000)
  • Mujeres Chamán, Damas Iniciáticas: Escritos de mujeres en la experiencia con drogas [with Cynthia Palmer; Spanish edition of Shaman Woman, Mainline Lady, translation by Victoria Quiñonero Moreno] (1999)
  • [newspaper] Lysergic World (Apr 16-19, 1993)
  • An Annotated Bibliography of Timothy Leary [with Karen Walls and Billy Smith] (1988)
  • Shaman Woman, Mainline Lady: Women's Writings on the Drug Experience [with Cynthia Palmer] (1982)
  • Moksha: Aldous Huxley's Classic Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience [with Cynthia Palmer] (1977/1999)
  • Apologia for Timothy Leary and Selected Bibliography of Published Works 1946-1974 [with John James, Carol Tickner, Dana Reemes, Chip Roberts, Cindy Palmer, and Robert Barker] (1974)
  • Author of (Book Chapters)
  • "LSD: The Antidote to Everything"; "Kissing the Sky: Writing on LSD from Hofmann & Huxley to Hendrix & Lennon"; "The Revolving Doors of Perception: Myths and Ambiguities of the Psychedelic Zeitgeist"; three talks in Proceedings of the Basel LSD Conferences, 2006 & 2008 (forthcoming)
  • "Prophet on the Lam: Timothy Leary in Exile" in Timothy Leary: Outside Looking In, edited by Robert Forte (1999)
  • "Bibliographic Preface: The Publishing History of Psychedelic Prayers with a Note on the Text of This Edition" in Timothy Leary's Psychedelic Prayers and Other Meditations (1997)
  • "Editor's Note" in Chaos & Cyber Culture by Timothy Leary (1994)
  • Hohere Intelligenz & Kreativitat [Remarks made as part of the "Higher Intelligence and Creativity" panel moderated by Timothy Leary at the Future of Consciousness conference held July 11, 1981 at the University of California Santa Cruz. Translated into German and published in book form by Werner Pieper.] (1982)
  • "Psychoactive Herbs" (Chapter 3) and "The Psychedelic Revolution" (Chapter 9) in High Times Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs, edited by Andrew Kowl and Robert Lemmo (1978)
  • Introduction to Peru: History of Coca "The Divine Plant" of the Incas by W. Golden Mortimer (1974)
  • Introduction to Black Opium by Claude Farrère (1974)
  • Author of (Articles)
  • "'Letter from the Future' ...on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of LSD, Journal for the Protection of All Beings 4:138-139 (Fall 1978)
  • "City Lights Bookstore 1969", X-Ray chapbook (2012)
  • "LSD's 50th Anniversary Party, 1993", Journal for the Protection of All Beings #4 (1978)
  • "Interview: Albert Hofmann", High Times 11:24-31,81 (1976)
  • "Historic Meeting...Tim Leary and Dr. LSD" [written under the pseudonym Fitz Hugh Ludlow], Berkeley Barb, p. 8 (Sept. 24-30, 1971)
  • Video
  • Lords of the Revolution: Timothy Leary, interview. VH1 Rock Docs (2009)
  • "The Timothy Leary Archive Party Interview with Michael Horowitz", Space Migration, Exponential Intelligence Increase, Life Extension: Documenting the Psychedelic Movement (Feb 8 2009)
  • Beyond Life: Timothy Leary Lives, interview. Globalvision Video (1997)
  • Timothy Leary Memorial, Unitarian Church in San Francisco [Michael speaks approximately 30 minutes into the video] (Jun 12, 1996)