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Recent Reviews
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Ayahuasca: Hallucinogens, Consciousness, and the Spirit of Nature
by Ralph Metzner
Publisher:
Thunder's Mouth Press 
Year:
1999 
Reviewed by Jon Hanna
7/24/2006

Metzner is to be commended for putting together a solid collection of subjective and objective information that illuminates the potential healing quality of ayahuasca. The stories of personal growth are compelling, and the scientific evidence presented speaks to the relative safety of ayahuasca when properly consumed. While there are sure to be a multitude of books published on the topic in years to come, Ayahuasca should stand the test of time as an historically significant contribution on contemporary psychonautical therapy. [ read more ]

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The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
by Jeremy Narby
Publisher:
Tarcher/Putnam 
Year:
1998 
Reviewed by Robert Forte
7/24/2006

The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge is a major breakthrough for not only the field of entheogens but for all science and perhaps religion too. Originally published in French as Serpent Cosmique, this book presents the journey of a western scientist who ventures past the primitive superstitions of modern anthropology and takes part in a millennia-long scientific ... [ read more ]

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Pharmacophilia, or The Natural Paradises
by Jonathan Ott
Publisher:
Natural Products Co. 
Year:
1997 
Reviewed by Jon Hanna
6/28/2006

Jonathan Ott’s latest book kicks off with a poem. In reviewing this, it would be unfair to both the reader and to Mr. Ott, if I didn’t make it clear that—in general—I am not a fan of poetry. With that noted, I can say that I almost wasn’t able to read “Phytomphalos” in its entirety. Ott’s poem is heavily inspired ... [ read more ]

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Shamanic Snuffs or Entheogenic Errhines
by Jonathan Ott
Publisher:
Entheobotanica 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by Jon Hanna
6/20/2006

My first impression of this book was the smell of its leather cover—gorgeous, and quite appropriate that a book on snuffs would engage the reader in such a manner. Indeed, the slipcase, the binding, the luxurious paper (which contributed its own crisp smell), the line drawings by Elmer W. Smith, the excellent typography, and even a woven burgundy place-holding ribbon, ... [ 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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Hallucinogens: Cross Cultural Perspectives
by Marlene Dobkin De Rios
Publisher:
Prism Press 
Year:
1990 
Reviewed by La Malice
5/31/2006

Marlene Dobkin de Rios is an anthropology scholar who specialized in the relationship between primitive societies—essentially from the american continent—and mind-altering substances. In her book Hallucinogens: Cross Cultural Perspectives, 11 traditional societies are examined, some of them long-gone and some still active. [ read more ]

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The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control
by David F. Musto
Publisher:
Oxford University Press 
Year:
1999 
Reviewed by K. Trout
4/16/2006

David F. Musto presents a penetrating assessment of the history of American anti-drug policies, and the impact of propaganda on public opinion. There is no single book that does a better job of summarizing the history of—and motivations driving—the intensive efforts directed against those who use inebriating substances, and how social controls on these people have been orchestrated within American ... [ read more ]

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Psychedelics Reimagined
by Thomas Lyttle (ed.)
Publisher:
Autonomedia 
Year:
1999 
Reviewed by K. Trout
4/9/2006

With Psychedelics Reimagined, Thomas Lyttle has assembled a diverse collection of writings, and as has been consistently true for his past works, this book will be of great interest to anyone with a love for this field. However this particular work also has substantial value for many other people. While it could just as easily have been entitled Psychedelic Monographs ... [ read more ]

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Drawing It Out: Befriending the Unconscious
by Sherana Harriette Frances
Publisher:
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies 
Year:
2001 
Reviewed by dogbreth
3/25/2006

In 1963, Harriette Frances went to the International Foundation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, California, to explore whether a legal substance being used at that time for psychotherapy could straighten out or enrich her life. She had been suffering from serious depression and had attempted to commit suicide. This mother/wife/artist was desperate, yet also searching for something ... [ read more ]

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The Secret Chief Revealed: Conversations with Leo Zeff, Pioneer in the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement
by Myron J. Stolaroff
Publisher:
MAPS 
Year:
2005 
Reviewed by dogbreth
3/10/2006

A quick read loaded with insights, The Secret Chief Revealed serves multiple purposes effectively. The actual “text” of the conversations is less than 100 pages, but the introductions, forward, prologue, tribute, epilogue, appendixes, additional tributes, and a special section devoted to resources, introduce the reader to some of the main personalities involved in psychedelic research, and extend the book ... [ read more ]

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