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Recent Reviews
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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
by Hunter S. Thompson
Publisher:
Random House 
Year:
1971 
Reviewed by Lux
10/17/2007

Hunter S. Thompson’s magnum opus records a semi-fictionalized drug-fueled torpedo ride through the incandescent heart of Las Vegas in search of the American Dream. Ablaze with mescaline, LSD, cannabis, ether – hell, you name it – Thompson’s literary alter-ego Raoul Duke wanders under the bright lights of the strip with his attorney Dr. Gonzo. [ read more ]

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Happy Hours: Alcohol in a Woman's Life
by Devon Jersild
Publisher:
Perennial 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Midevil
9/27/2007

Personal accounts, which include the author’s own struggle with her alcoholic sister, are presented alongside statistics that examine race, sex, and class differences, as well as a bibliography and index that provide quite a bit of what a drinking woman (or dry alcoholic) needs to know in order to battle the demon in the bottle. The cover of the paperback is quite appropriate. The title is blurred on top of a black background; below, a lone woman holds a wine glass. [ read more ]

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Carbon Dioxide Therapy
by Ladislas J. Meduna
Publisher:
Charles Thomas 
Year:
1950 (1st Edition) 
Reviewed by Lux
9/12/2007

Nearly 60 years after it was published, Carbon Dioxide Therapy remains the definitive statement on carbogen as a psychiatric tool for treatment of neurosis. The book’s author administered a blend called “Meduna’s Mixture”, consisting of 30% carbon dioxide and 70% oxygen, to hundreds of patients, and the results of his research are copiously document in this engaging monograph. Exposure to increased levels of carbon dioxide can be dangerous or even be fatal, but Meduna encountered no serious problems in administering his 70/30 blend in sessions of up to 50 breaths in length. [ read more ]

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Salvia Divinorum: Die Wahrsagesalbei
by Jochen Gartz
Publisher:
Nachtschatten Verlag 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by David Aardvark
8/28/2007

This book does an excellent job of succinctly covering the history of Salvia divinorum up to the new millennium, pulling together the various aspects of ethnobotany, pharmacology, cultivation, chemistry, and contemporary use, into one place for the first time. Alas, it doesn’t present any recent information . . . do we really need another book on Salvia divinorum at this point? The answer may be “yes,” but predominantly because this book is in German, and hence will reach an audience that might have a hard time reading the myriad of information that is already available in English. [ read more ]

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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 ]

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Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals
by Huston Smith
Publisher:
Sentient Publications 
Year:
2003 
Reviewed by Jay Yasgur R.Ph, M.Sc.
8/13/2007

Although these essays were originally published in various other places, they have recently been edited liberally for inclusion in this volume, making the collection a unique offering. The book wrestles with Smith’s essential question: “Do drugs have a religious/spiritual importance?” . . . This edition of Cleansing the Doors of Perception is well produced, with an easy-to-read layout and font, on a cream-toned paper, and an adequate index. [ read more ]

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Tripping: An Anthology of True-life Psychedelic Adventures
by Charles Hayes (Ed.)
Publisher:
Penguin Compass 
Year:
2000 
Reviewed by Jon Hanna
8/7/2007

Charles Hayes has brought together a mind-blowing collection of first-person psychonautical voyages in his book Tripping: An Anthology of True-life Psychedelic Adventures. Hayes is a gifted writer whose edgy style accurately conveys the various nuances of the psychedelic experience without being overblown. The book’s introduction provides the appropriate historical nods, while showcasing Hayes’ exhaustive knowledge and understanding of the topic, and exposing the cutting edge of current underground drug culture. [ read more ]

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Timothy Leary: Outside Looking In
by Robert Forte (Ed.)
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
1999 
Reviewed by Jon Hanna
8/1/2007

Robert Forte has compiled an excellent selection of “appreciations, castigations, and reminiscences” as a festschrift to Dr. Timothy Leary. Along the way we hear tales from John Beresford, William S. Burroughs, Ram Dass, Allen Ginsberg, Albert Hofmann, Aldous Huxley , Ken Kesey, Terence McKenna, Claudio Naranjo, Thomas Riedlinger, Winona Ryder, Myron Stolaroff, Hunter S. Thompson, Andrew Weil, Robert Anton Wilson, Rosemary Woodruff, and many others. An impressive cast of characters to be sure. [ read more ]

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Pharmako/Dynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions & Herbcraft
by Dale Pendell
Publisher:
Mercury House 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Gwyllm Llwydd
7/26/2007

The book is a cornucopia of arcane his/herstories of plants and their effects on human civilization. Information swims through these pages—information untold and unrevealed, except for the most curious amongst the connoisseurs of plant inebriants. Information to get lost in… information to find yourself in… information that reveals secrets… information to set a course for distant shores with… [ read more ]

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Ibogaine: Proceedings of the First International Conference
by Kenneth R. Alper and Staley D. Glick (Eds.)
Publisher:
Academic Press 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Thomas Lyttle
7/20/2007

The First International Conference was held in New York City in 1999, and this book collects the proceedings, plus more. Adding to pharmaceutical and toxicology research is new information regarding therapies that use ibogaine, including traditional Bwiti therapies, various encounter and shock therapies, dream therapies—even amateur therapies using ibogaine in uncontrolled doses, based on self-help models. [ read more ]