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Recent Reviews
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Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work
by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal
Publisher:
Dey Street Books 
Year:
2017 
Reviewed by David Bey
1/27/2020

Seen in a more charitable light, Stealing Fire serves as an important reminder that, like any technology, the techniques of ecstasy are neither good nor bad in of themselves. What matters are the choices we make about how we use them. [ read more ]

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High Weirdness: Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies
by Erik Davis
Publisher:
Strange Attractor / MIT Press 
Year:
2019 
Reviewed by David Bey
12/10/2019

It’s hard to overstate what an accomplishment High Weirdness is. Davis has done painstaking work whose formal sobriety and methodological rigor serve to unimpeachably register the works of a rogues’ gallery of extraordinary psychonauts within the academic discourse. The result is likely to significantly change how future scholarship on its featured authors is conducted. [ read more ]

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The Honest Drug Book: A Chemical and Botanical Journey Through the Legal High Years
by Dominic Milton Trott
Publisher:
MxZero Publishing 
Year:
2017 
Reviewed by David Arnson
7/5/2018

Reading The Honest Drug Book is a journey through one psychonaut’s comprehensively self-chronicled experience reports, with the additions of a safety manual, sociocultural observations, and various additional commentaries. [ read more ]

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Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich
by Norman Ohler
Publisher:
Penguin Books 
Year:
2017 
Reviewed by Jonathan Taylor
2/28/2018

Blitzed examines the role that various drugs played in the Third Reich by telling three main stories: the popularization of methamphetamine pills under the name Pervitin and their widespread use by the Germany military and civilians; Hitler’s use of narcotics and other drugs during the war; and the story of Hitler’s personal doctor Theodor Morell and his unorthodox prescriptions for “Patient A”, or as Ohler dubs him, “High Hitler.” [ read more ]

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Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety
by Rachel Harris
Publisher:
New World Library 
Year:
2017 
Reviewed by David Bey
2/27/2018

Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety offers something immeasurably valuable in the field of psychedelic discourse: a sane, responsible, well-informed voice in a chorus replete with fevered egos and third-hand hearsay. [ read more ]

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Sapo in My Soul: The Matsés Frog Medicine
by Peter Gorman
Publisher:
Gorman Bench Press 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by David Bey
10/18/2017

To be clear, I am casting no aspersions as to the extent of Gorman’s genuine expertise with the technique. I respect that he learned it straight from the source, and have no reason to doubt his ability to administer sapo skillfully to himself or others. What I do feel compelled to question is his ability to make meaningful statements about why or how the relevant phenomena function the way they do. This review may seem surprisingly harsh so far, but I’m going to argue such harshness is fair. [ read more ]

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Psychedelic Marine: A Transformational Journey from Afghanistan to the Amazon
by Alex Seymour
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2016 
Reviewed by David Arnson
6/19/2017

...an adeptly written autobiography about a British Marine’s return to the armed services and a subsequent episode of further self-discovery in the Amazon jungles. Now, let’s face it, does the world need yet another book on self-discovery and the ayahuasca experience in South America? To his credit, the author delivers a definitely novel perspective on one man’s journey. He is an engaging writer, and expertly immerses the reader in the moment. [ read more ]

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The Museum Dose: 12 Experiments in Pharmacologically Mediated Aesthetics
by Daniel Tumbleweed
Publisher:
Phoropter Press 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by David Arnson
5/15/2017

Tumbleweed reports on experiences with 4-Aco-DMT, psilocybin-containing mushrooms, 2C-E, 2-CI, 2-CT-2, 4-HO-MPT, 4-HO-MiPT, 5-MeO-MiPT, TMA-2, 4-HO-DiPT, 4-AcO-DET, and 4-HO-MET. Holy alphabetamine, Batman! Each chapter begins with an art event destination and dosage of the substance that he has taken, and this gentleman proves truly eloquent in conveying the impressions that he receives. [ read more ]

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The Toad and the Jaguar
by Ralph Metzner
Publisher:
Regent Press 
Year:
2013 
Reviewed by David Arnson
4/15/2017

The Toad and the Jaguar is an instant gold standard on current 5-MeO-DMT information. Metzner is to be congratulated on this relatively short but information-dense work, which ties in practical usage, all the possible red flags, and multiple angles of approach to the subject matter. [ read more ]

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Xenolinguistics: Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness
by Diana Reed Slattery
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by David Bey
3/16/2016

The book is both a consideration of general topics in psychedelic-influenced language studies, as well as an account of the author’s own “outrageous twelve year adventure” of largely solitary psychedelic exploration, inspired in large part by her experiments with Glide, a visual language system she developed in the course of her researches. Slattery’s personal journey is both remarkable and inspirational. [ read more ]