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Reviews by Mike Jay
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The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art
by David Lewis-Williams
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Mike Jay
1/15/2007

In The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art, Lewis-Williams draws on his own previous work, and also that of cognitive psychologists like Heinrich Klüver and Ronald Siegel and anthropologists like Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, who have cumulatively demonstrated that, in altered states, the same visual and sensory phenomena are generated both in the lab and in the field. [ read more ]

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Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom
by Andy Letcher
Publisher:
Faber & Faber 
Year:
2006 
Reviewed by Mike Jay
12/12/2006

In Shroom, Andy Letcher has cut through this dense tangle of pseudohistory and urban legend with bracing scepticism, clearing the space for an elegant and authoritative telling of the true story that it conceals. He establishes that although fungi have fascinated, inspired and revolted us throughout history, and one source of this fascination has certainly been their strange intoxicating properties, there are only two parts of the world – Mexico and Siberia – where there is clear evidence that these properties have been deliberately sought out and culturally sanctioned. [ read more ]

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