Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom

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Harper Collins, Feb 19, 2008 - History - 384 pages
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Did mushroom tea kick-start ancient Greek philosophy?
Was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland a thinly veiled psychedelic mushroom odyssey?
Is Santa Claus really a magic mushroom in disguise?

The world of the magic mushroom is a place where shamans and hippies rub shoulders with psychiatrists, poets, and international bankers. Since its rediscovery only fifty years ago, this hallucinogenic fungus, once shunned in the West as the most pernicious of poisons, has inspired a plethora of folktales and urban legends. In this timely and definitive study, Andy Letcher chronicles the history of the magic mushroom—from its use by the Aztecs of Central America and the tribes of Siberia through to the present day—stripping away the myths and taking a critical and humorous look at the drug's more recent manifestations.

Informative, lively, and impeccably researched, Shroom is a unique and engaging exploration of this most extraordinary of psychedelics.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - paperloverevolution - LibraryThing

Really unsatisfying. I'm not sure who the intended audience was for this book - maybe rabid Terrence McKenna fans, who can't be swayed by any kind of logic, and certainly won't be by Letcher's ... Read full review

SHROOM: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An exuberant, approving account of psilocybin and its kin for those of us living in what debut author Letcher calls "the Mushroom Age."Others would put that magical time back a few decades to the ... Read full review

Contents

amanita
116
psilocybe
178
High Priests
198
Ripples and Waves
211
Underground Overground
227
The ElfClowns of Hyperspace
252
Muck and Brass
276
Love on a Puffball
290
Appendix
301
References
326
Index
349
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About the author (2008)

Andy Letcher is a freelance writer, lecturer, and musician with a doctorate in ecology from Oxford University, and a second in religious/cultural studies from King Alfred's College, Winchester. He lives in Oxford, England, and sings and plays the mandolin and English bagpipes in his own acid folk group, Telling the Bees.

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