Rudgley, Richard Essential Substances

ISBN 13: 9781910524084

Essential Substances

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9781910524084: Essential Substances
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Richard Rudgley's first book, Essential Substances, was the winner of the British Museum Prometheus Award and hailed as a masterpiece by the Director of Harvard Botanical Museum. It is still one of the few books to have explored the role of drugs in the religious, political, economic and sexual life of our species from prehistory to the present day, covering a range of cultures as diverse as the Amazonian Indians, the Scythians of the ancient world and the witches of Medieval Europe alongside inner city crack and drugs in the counterculture. It is a magical tour of the bizarre world of intoxicants peopled by tribesmen and mystics, statesmen and writers, housewives and yuppies. Rudgley cogently shows how the significance of these substances extends beyond simple pleasure to the economic, political, and sexual life of a community. In the process, he challenges our assumptions that deem certain intoxicants socially and legally acceptable, while others remain taboo. Essential Substances remains a timely, much-needed reconsideration of the roles intoxicants play in our lives and society. Added for this edition is a new appendix, 'A Psychoactive Bestiary'. 'A splendid contribution to the new wave of scholarship that is forcing a different approach to our ages-old fascination with hallucinogenic plants and altered states. Richard Rudgley is to be congratulated' - Terence McKenna, author of Food of the Gods and True Hallucinations 'Should be required reading for all legislators who think disliked substances can be made to vanish by means of criminal sanctions' - Andrew Weil MD, author of The Natural Mind Richard Rudgley is a critically acclaimed author whose books have been translated into twelve languages. The author of several books, he has also written and presented several documentaries that have aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and on various channels internationally. Arktos has also republished his books Wildest Dreams: An Anthology of Drug-Related Literature, which collects writings both ancient and modern describing the drug experience; and Barbarians, which is about the Dark Ages.

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About the Author:

Richard Rudgley is an anthropologist at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.

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Anthropologist Rudgley takes us on a swift but information-packed tour of humanity's use of intoxicants in the Western world from Paleolithic times to the present. He recounts key archaeological finds that confirmed the ancient use of opium and cannabis, then links these practices to art forms such as cave paintings and certain common geometric patterns. As he roams across Europe, Russia, India, and the Americas, Rudgley chronicles the use of fly agaric mushrooms by Siberian shamans, ponders the botanical identity of soma as described in the Rig Veda, and explains the cults of the yaje among the Tukano Indians in Amazonia and peyote among tribes in the Southwest. One of the most surprising sections in this revelatory book is the discussion of European witches. Their flying was the product of ointment-based intoxicants, and broomsticks had a, let's say, medicinal rather than vehicular function. Rudgley concludes with a somber look at heroin and cocaine abuse. Donna Seaman

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781910524091: Essential Substances

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1910524093 ISBN 13:  9781910524091
Publisher: Arktos Media Ltd, 2014
Hardcover

9781568360164: Essential Substances: A Cultural History of Intoxicants in Society

Kodans..., 1994
Hardcover

9781568360751: Essential Substances: A Cultural History of Intoxicants in Society (Kodansha Globe Series)

Kodans..., 1995
Softcover

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