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Reviews by Scotto
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More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement
by Ramez Naam
Publisher:
Broadway Books/Random House 
Year:
2005 
Reviewed by Scotto
8/19/2007

In his remarkably entertaining new popular science book . . . software engineer Ramez Naam walks us through a giddying array of possible futures, all of which have very real and very clear roots in the science of the present day. In chapters such as “Choosing Our Bodies,” “Choosing Our Minds,” and “A Child of Choice,” Naam offers case study after case study demonstrating how techniques originally intended to heal will eventually be used to enhance the human experience. [ read more ]

Welcome to the Erowid Review!

Managing editor: Spoon
Contributing writer: David Arnson

The Erowid Review is a multi-contributor blog that publishes original book reviews on a regular basis on the topic of psychoactives, and provides links to topical reviews published elsewhere. Books about every aspect of psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related topics are discussed – cultural, spiritual, legal, medical, pharmacological and more. While books about psychoactives ... [ read more ]

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Voices From The Farm: Adventures In Community Living
by Rupert Fike, editor
Publisher:
The Book Publishing Co. 
Year:
1998 
Reviewed by Scotto
1/20/2006

In 1970, counterculture guru Stephen Gaskin led a cross-country caravan of hundreds of hippies from San Francisco to Tennessee, where they established The Farm, an influential commune that still exists today. During its heyday, The Farm was a nexus for idealistic pioneers, spiritual seekers, and troubled souls for whom the standard script of American life was no longer adequate.

Voices ... [ read more ]

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Maximizing Harm: Losers and Winners in the Drug War
by Stephen Young
Publisher:
Writer's Showcase Press 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Scotto
11/15/2005

After spending enough time identifying yourself as a member of the “psychedelic community” at large, you begin to take for granted the fact that the war on drugs is an awful monstrosity. You get used to the numbing barrage of horror stories that seem to pour through news outlets on a regular basis. You nod cynically and get ... [ read more ]

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Ecstasy: The Complete Guide
by Julie Holland
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Scotto
8/26/2005

Ecstasy: The Complete Guide is a mammoth, 400+ page anthology, whose subtitle – A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA – sets out the ambitious nature of the book’s scope. This extensive set of essays touches on nearly the gamut of issues surrounding Ecstasy in our society today, from a fundamental look at what is known ... [ read more ]

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DMT: The Spirit Molecule
by Rick Strassman, M.D.
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Scotto
7/7/2005

Rick Strassman is a good storyteller. The prologue to his new book is engaging right from the start, as we encounter Philip and Nils, Strassman’s first two volunteers, who volunteer as human guinea pigs in order to find the appropriate dose of intravenous DMT to utilize for a long-term study Strassman is about to conduct into the biomedical effects ... [ read more ]

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Towards an Archaeology of the Soul: A Paratheatrical Workbook
by Antero Alli & Friends
Publisher:
Vertical Pool 
Year:
2003 
Reviewed by Scotto
6/27/2005

Antero Alli’s Towards an Archaeology of the Soul is not an easy book to read, and this is perhaps best explained by the book’s subtitle: A Paratheatrical Workbook. Every page of this book asks you to get up and do, which can be quite a challenge to take sitting down.

Inspired by the groundbreaking laboratory theatre approach of Jerzy Grotowski, ... [ read more ]

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Haight Ashbury Flashbacks
by Stephen Gaskin
Publisher:
Ronin Pub. 
Year:
1980,1990 
Reviewed by Scotto
5/19/2005

Stephen Gaskin’s Haight Ashbury Flashbacks is a mind-blowing “diary” of his days as a teacher at San Francisco State College during the Summer of Love. Gaskin would go on to help found The Farm, an influential commune that has survived for decades in Tennessee, but this book documents his formulative, pre-guru years, as he and his fellow teachers, teaching ... [ read more ]

At the age of 31, our fearless hero and narrator, Joey, embarks upon an ambitious and reckless attempt to transform his consciousness, first teaching himself the arts of remote viewing and lucid dreaming, then developing his skills at inducing OBEs (Out of Body Experiences), then applying neurofeedback, electrical brain stimulation, and heavy doses of serious psychedelics and other drugs to ... [ read more ]

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Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion
by Thomas B. Roberts (ed.)
Publisher:
Council on Spiritual Practices 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Scotto
4/27/2005

Psychoactive Sacramentals is the latest book in CSP’s Entheogen Project Series, a set of books that includes the frustrating anthology, Entheogens and the Future of Religion, and Huston Smith’s important collection of essays, Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals. The Chicago Theological Seminary and CSP held a conference in 1995, inviting “theologians, ... [ read more ]

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