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Narcotics
Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom
Shroom
A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom
Paperback      ISBN: 0060828293

Did mushroom tea kick-start ancient Greek philosophy?
Was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland a thinly veiled psychedelic mushroom odyssey?
Is Santa Claus really a magic mushroom in disguise?

The world of the magic mushroom is a place where shamans and hippies rub shoulders with psychiatrists, poets, and international bankers. Since its rediscovery only fifty years ago, this hallucinogenic fungus, once shunned in the West as the most pernicious of poisons, has inspired a plethora of folktales and urban legends. In this timely and definitive study, Andy Letcher chronicles the history of the magic mushroom--from its use by the Aztecs of Central America and the tribes of Siberia through to the present day--stripping away the myths and taking a critical and humorous look at the drug's more recent manifestations.

Informative, lively, and impeccably researched, Shroom is a unique and engaging exploration of this most extraordinary of psychedelics.

Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience
Sisters of the Extreme
Women Writing on the Drug Experience
Paperback      ISBN: 0892817577

- An anthology of writings by some of the most influential women in history on the often misunderstood and misrepresented female drug experience.

- With great honesty, bravery, and frankness, women from diverse backgrounds write about their drug experiences.

Women have been experimenting with drugs since prehistoric times, and yet published accounts of their views on the drug experience have been relegated to either antiseptic sociological studies or sensationalized stories splashed across the tabloids. The media has given us an enduring, but inaccurate, stereotype of a female drug user: passive, addicted, exploited, degraded, promiscuous. But the selections in this anthology--penned by such famous names as Billie Holiday, Anais Nin, Maya Angelou, and Carrie Fisher--show us that the real experiences of women are anything but stereotypical.

Sisters of the Extreme provides us with writings by women from diverse occupations and backgrounds, from prostitute to physician, who through their use of drugs dared cross the boundaries set by society--often doing so with the hope of expanding themselves and their vision of the world. Whether with LSD, peyote, cocaine, heroine, MDMA, or marijuana, these women have sought to reach, through their experimentation, other levels of consciousness. Sometimes their quests have brought unexpected rewards, other times great suffering and misfortune. But wherever their trips have left them, these women have lived courageously--if sometimes dangerously--and written about their journeys eloquently.
Smack: Heroin and the American City
Smack
Heroin and the American City
Paperback      ISBN: 081222180x

Why do the vast majority of heroin users live in cities? In his provocative history of heroin in the United States, Eric C. Schneider explains what is distinctively urban about this undisputed king of underworld drugs.

During the twentieth century, New York City was the nation's heroin capital--over half of all known addicts lived there, and underworld bosses like Vito Genovese, Nicky Barnes, and Frank Lucas used their international networks to import and distribute the drug to cities throughout the country, generating vast sums of capital in return. Schneider uncovers how New York, as the principal distribution hub, organized the global trade in heroin and sustained the subcultures that supported its use.

Through interviews with former junkies and clinic workers and in-depth archival research, Schneider also chronicles the dramatically shifting demographic profile of heroin users. Originally popular among working-class whites in the 1920s, heroin became associated with jazz musicians and Beat writers in the 1940s. Musician Red Rodney called heroin the trademark of the bebop generation. It was the thing that gave us membership in a unique club, he proclaimed. Smack takes readers through the typical haunts of heroin users--52nd Street jazz clubs, Times Square cafeterias, Chicago's South Side street corners--to explain how young people were initiated into the drug culture.

Smack recounts the explosion of heroin use among middle-class young people in the 1960s and 1970s. It became the drug of choice among a wide swath of youth, from hippies in Haight-Ashbury and soldiers in Vietnam to punks on the Lower East Side. Panics over the drug led to the passage of increasingly severe legislation that entrapped heroin users in the criminal justice system without addressing the issues that led to its use in the first place. The book ends with a meditation on the evolution of the war on drugs and addresses why efforts to solve the drug problem must go beyond eliminating supply.

Snowblind: A Brief Career in the Cocaine Trade
Snowblind
A Brief Career in the Cocaine Trade
Paperback      ISBN: 0802135897

Called "a triumphant piece of reporting" (The New Yorker), Snowblind is an all-out, nonstop, and now classic look at the cocaine trade through the eyes of smuggler Zachary Swan. In a brief Roman-candle career, Swan served an elegant clientele, traveling between Bogota and the nightclubs of New York, inventing intricate scams to outmaneuver the feds. Creating diversions that were characteristically baroque, surviving on ingenuity and idiot's luck, he discovered in the process a hip, dangerous, high-velocity world that Robert Sabbag evokes with extraordinary power and humor.

Stairways to Heaven: Drugs in American Religious History
Stairways to Heaven
Drugs in American Religious History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0813366127

From Native Americans' use of tobacco for solemnizing oaths to the spread of New Age religious beliefs in Haight-Ashbury coffeehouses, drugs have been intimately associated with American spirituality. In Stairways to Heaven, Robert Fuller presents a rarely considered but very important dimension of American religious history -- the use of mind-altering substances as an aid to spirituality -- in a clear, engaging style. Fuller's entertaining narrative illustrates how such substances as peyote, jimson weed, hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD, marijuana, wine, and coffee have stimulated ecstatic revelations of spiritual truth and strengthened the social bonds that sustain communities of faith.Stairways to Heaven is unique in the study of American religious history in two ways: first, it demonstrates that the ritual use of mind-altering substances has contributed to the innovation and diversity that characterize American religious life; second, it uses interdisciplinary research into the religious uses of drugs to shed light on the controversial legal, ethical, and spiritual controversies that surround drug use in the contemporary United States. The book's final chapter assesses the usefulness of drugs in the quest for a mature, life-affirming, community-building, creative spirituality.

Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream
Storming Heaven
LSD and the American Dream
Paperback      ISBN: 0802135870

For Aldous Huxley it was the next step in human evolution; for the CIA it was a potential tool for mind control; for Timothy Leary it was the liberator of humankind (a belief that led to his being branded "the most dangerous man in America"); for Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters it fueled the notorious Acid Tests; and it was the improbable common denominator that united such disparate figures as Allen Ginsberg, Cary Grant, G. Gordon Liddy, and Charles Manson.

In this brilliant, riveting, and exhaustively researched book, Jay Stevens relates the history of that "curious molecule," LSD. He unearths a story of Pynchonesque complexity, tells it with novelistic flair, and irrefutably demonstrates LSD's pivotal role in the cultural upheavals that shook America in the 1960s and changed the country forever.

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
This Is Your Country on Drugs
The Secret History of Getting High in America
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0470167394
Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrong

Stock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music festivals). Along the way, Grim discovers some surprising truths. Did anti-drug campaigns actually encourage more drug use? Did acid really disappear in the early 2000s? And did meth peak years ago? Did our Founding Fathers-or, better yet, their wives-get high just as much as we do?

  • Traces the evolution of United States's long and twisted relationship with drugs
  • Gives surprising answers to questions such as: how did heroin become popular, when did the meth epidemic peak, and has LSD gone the way of Quaaludes
  • Based on solid reporting and wide-ranging research-including surveys, reports, historical accounts, and more

Not since Eric Schlosser ventured underground to marijuana's black market in Reefer Madness has a reporter trained such a keen eye on drugs and culture. A powerful and often shocking history of one of our knottiest social and cultural problems, This is Your Country on Drugs leads you on a profound exploration of what it means to be an American.

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
This Is Your Country on Drugs
The Secret History of Getting High in America
Paperback      ISBN: 0470643897
Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrong

Stock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music festivals). Along the way, Grim discovers some surprising truths. Did anti-drug campaigns actually encourage more drug use? Did acid really disappear in the early 2000s? And did meth peak years ago? Did our Founding Fathers-or, better yet, their wives-get high just as much as we do?

  • Traces the evolution of United States's long and twisted relationship with drugs
  • Gives surprising answers to questions such as: how did heroin become popular, when did the meth epidemic peak, and has LSD gone the way of Quaaludes
  • Based on solid reporting and wide-ranging research-including surveys, reports, historical accounts, and more

Not since Eric Schlosser ventured underground to marijuana's black market in Reefer Madness has a reporter trained such a keen eye on drugs and culture. A powerful and often shocking history of one of our knottiest social and cultural problems, This is Your Country on Drugs leads you on a profound exploration of what it means to be an American.

Tihkal: A Continuation
Tihkal
A Continuation
Paperback      ISBN: 0963009699

TiHKAL: The Continuation is the sequel to PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story but can stand alone to any reader. Where PiHKAL focuses on a class of compounds called phenethylamines, TiHKAL is written about a family of psychoactive drugs known as tryptamines with TiHKAL being an acronym for Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved". Like its predecessor PiHKAL, it is divided into two parts. The first part of the book begins with the story of Alice and Shura, a fictionalized autobiography, which picks up where the similar section of PiHKAL left off. The book opens with the story about the DEA raid that occurred a few years after the publication of their first book, PiHKAL. It's a window into the DEA, the institutional aspect and human side of it as well, and the price that Shura and Alice pay for doing what they do, including exercising their first amendment rights. It then continues with a collection of essays on topics ranging from psychotherapy and the Jungian mind, to the prevalence of DMT in nature, ayahuasca, the War on Drugs, and even the Big Bang. It is a blend of travel, botanical facts, scientific speculation, psychological and political commentary. It is fascinating getting to know the mind of the man behind the compounds - his thoughts on science, technology, law, and society. And the mind of the woman who brought his work and their story into the light of the world. The second part of TiHKAL is "The Chemistry Continues". It is a detailed manual for 55 psychedelic compounds (many discovered by Shulgin himself). For each compound there is information on synthesis, effective dosage, duration of effects, and commentary on the subjective effects that were experienced. The Shulgins' two big books span autobiography, organic chemistry, politics, ethnobotany and psychopharmacology and the cultural impact of these works has been profound and will continue to be so in the future.

True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author's Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil's Paradis
True Hallucinations
Being an Account of the Author's Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil's Paradis
Paperback      ISBN: 0062506528

This mesmerizing, surreal account of the bizarre adventures of Terence McKenna, his brother Dennis, and a small band of their friends, is a wild ride of exotic experience and scientific inquiry. Exploring the Amazon Basin in search of mythical shamanic hallucinogens, they encounter a host of unusual characters -- including a mushroom, a flying saucer, pirate Mantids from outer space, an appearance by James and Nora Joyce in the guise of poultry, and translinguistic matter -- and discover the missing link in the development of human consciousness and language.