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Recent Reviews
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Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality
by John Horgan
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin 
Year:
2003 
Reviewed by Erik Davis
8/16/2005

The cover of a recent Time magazine special issue features a crafty-looking yoga-babe sitting in padmasana alongside the headline: How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body. It’s just another sign of a sea change in the mainstream representations of mind, as new psychoactives, imaging technologies, and pop spirituality recontextualize the neural dance of consciousness and flesh. The boundaries between ... [ read more ]

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What The Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry
by John Markoff
Publisher:
Viking Adult 
Year:
2005 
Reviewed by Lorenzo
8/8/2005

To fully appreciate What the Dormouse Said, it helps to think back to what the world was like in 1959, when this story begins. At that time, with a few rare exceptions, the entire computing profession was focused exclusively on mainframes; even the concept of time-sharing was considered a heresy. There was no student protest movement, not a single campus ... [ read more ]

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Hooked on Heroin: Drugs & Drifters in a Globalized World
by Philip Lalander
Publisher:
Berg (New York) 
Year:
2003 
Reviewed by Midevil
8/1/2005

Hooked on Heroin is a reprint of the 2001 Swedish edition, translated into English, with appropriate changes. The work focuses on research Lalander did in the Swedish city, Norrköping. He interviewed and observed young heroin users with the intent of highlighting the growing use of heroin and the subculture that is created around it.

The book begins with the problematic ... [ read more ]

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Drug War: Covert Money, Power & Policy
by Dan Russell
Publisher:
http://www.drugwar.com 
Year:
2000 
Reviewed by James Kent
7/25/2005

The subtitle of Dan Russell’s epic dissertation, Drug War: Covert Money, Power & Policy, says it all. Make no mistake, this is not a book about the so-called “war on drugs” we hear about in the newspapers, the one being fought on our streets between cops and druggies or border guards and drug smugglers. Nor is this the tale of ... [ read more ]

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Hallucinogens: A Reader
by Charles S. Grob (ed.)
Publisher:
Tarcher / Putnam 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Mason
7/21/2005

I was introduced to psychedelics well into graduate school in chemistry and sometime after I had already formed my present spiritual view, so it came as quite a relief to find that these substances were so well able to help me bridge the gap between the science that I’d been trained in, and my spiritual views which often resisted any ... [ read more ]

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Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation
by Stephen Harrod Buhner
Publisher:
Siris Books 
Year:
1998 
Reviewed by Darin
7/18/2005

Right from the start, Stephen Harrod Buhner claims his book is heresy, “that fermentation and plant use—as medicine, as psychotropics, as teachers, as companions on our life path—are an inescapable part of what it means to be human.” It’s not exactly clear what the heresy stands against, aside from a vague notion of “popular beliefs” regarding alcohol, and undefined “politically ... [ read more ]

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Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul
by Joan Parisi Wilcox
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2003 
Reviewed by Annette
7/11/2005

In Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul, Joan Parisi Wilcox delivers a highly descriptive narrative of her fascination with ayahuasca’s visionary experiences. Her account offers an insider’s view of the traditional ayahuasca ritual, in which a shaman administers the drug and guides the experience of the initiate.

Wilcox’s interest in the ceremonial use of ... [ 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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Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics
by Allan Hunt Badiner & Alex Grey (eds.)
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by free agent .rez
7/5/2005

Zig Zag Zen explores the intricate relationship between Buddhism and psychedelics in the West. There are several ways to approach reviewing a book like Zig Zag Zen, because books affect people for different reasons at different points in their lives. There was a time when I would have read this book as a metaprogrammer, experimenting with psychedelics and ... [ read more ]

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The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs
by Marcus Boon
Publisher:
Harvard Univ. Press 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Ashley Crawford
6/30/2005

There is something a little bit scary about reading The Road of Excess -– this meticulous exploration of the influence of narcotics on literature is like a late night literary overdose.

The author, Marcus Boon, is Assistant Professor of English at York University in Toronto, and his academic background shines through without bogging down this intriguing subject.

Where it becomes scary ... [ read more ]

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