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A Brief History of Drugs: From the Stone Age to the Stoned Age
     

A Brief History of Drugs: From the Stone Age to the Stoned Age

by Antonio Escohotado
 

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A clear-eyed look at the instrumental role drugs have played in our cultural, social, and spiritual development. 


• First American publication of the surprising European bestseller. 


• Examines everything from the ancient use of ergot and datura to the modern phenomenon of  "designer" drugs such as Ecstasy and

Overview

A clear-eyed look at the instrumental role drugs have played in our cultural, social, and spiritual development. 


• First American publication of the surprising European bestseller. 


• Examines everything from the ancient use of ergot and datura to the modern phenomenon of  "designer" drugs such as Ecstasy and crack cocaine. 


From remotest antiquity to the present era of designer drugs and interdiction, drugs have played a prominent role in the cultural, spiritual, and social development of civilizations. Antonio Escohotado demonstrates how the history of drugs illuminates the history of humanity as he explores the long relationship between mankind and mind-altering substances. Hemp, for example, has been used in India since time immemorial to stimulate mental agility and sexual prowess. Aristotle's disciple Theophrastus testifies to the use of datura by the ancient Greeks and further evidence links the rites at Eleusis to the ingestion of a hallucinogen. Similar examples can be found in cultures as diverse as the Celts, the ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs, and other indigenous peoples around the world. 

Professor Escohotado also looks at the present-day differences that exist between the more drug-tolerant societies like Holland and Switzerland and countries advocating complete repression of these substances. The author provides a comprehensive analysis of the enormous social costs of the drug war that is coming under increasing fire from all levels of society. Professor Escohotado's work demonstrates that drugs have always existed and been used by societies throughout the world and the contribution they have made to humanity's development has been enormous. The choice we face today is to teach people how to use them correctly or to continue to indiscriminately demonize them. "Just say no," the author says, is not an option. Just say "know" is. 

Antonio Escohotado is a professor of philosophy and social science methodology at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain. He travels widely, offering lectures and seminars on the subject of drugs and history. 

Editorial Reviews

American Herb Association
This book examines natural substances used by different cultures to alter the mind. Makes for interesting, thought provoking reading.
Ralph Metzner
"A fascinating and informative history of humankind's checkered and often ambivalent relationship with psychoactive plants and drugs. From the role of the opium poppy in ancient Mesopotamia and the ergot-based mystery cult of Eleusis, through the opium wars in China and the persecution of medieval herbalist witches, up to the 'psychedelic rebellion' of the sixties and the insanities of the current 'war on drugs,' Eschohotado covers an enormous subject with scholarly acumen and brings the light of reason to bear on topics often shrouded in bigotry, ignorance, and cupidity. Highly recommended!"
Vol 16:4 American Herb Association
"This book examines natural substances used by different cultures to alter the mind. Makes for interesting, thought provoking reading."
From the Publisher
"A fascinating and informative history of humankind's checkered and often ambivalent relationship with psychoactive plants and drugs. From the role of the opium poppy in ancient Mesopotamia and the ergot-based mystery cult of Eleusis, through the opium wars in China and the persecution of medieval herbalist witches, up to the 'psychedelic rebellion' of the sixties and the insanities of the current 'war on drugs,' Eschohotado covers an enormous subject with scholarly acumen and brings the light of reason to bear on topics often shrouded in bigotry, ignorance, and cupidity. Highly recommended!"

"This book examines natural substances used by different cultures to alter the mind. Makes for interesting, thought provoking reading."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594775796
Publisher:
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date:
05/01/1999
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
532 KB

What People are Saying About This

Ralph Metzner
0892818263|Quote|A fascinating and informative history of humankind's checkered and often ambivalent relationship with psychoactive plants and drugs. From the role of the opium poppy in ancient Mesopotamia and the ergot-based mystery cult of Eleusis, through the opium wars in China and the persecution of medieval herbalist witches, up to the 'psychedelic rebellion' of the sixties and the insanities of the current 'war on drugs,' Eschohotado covers an enormous subject with scholarly acumen and brings the light of reason to bear on topics often shrouded in bigotry, ignorance, and cupidity. Highly recommended! (Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., author of The Unfolding Self and Green Psychology)
From the Publisher
"A fascinating and informative history of humankind's checkered and often ambivalent relationship with psychoactive plants and drugs. From the role of the opium poppy in ancient Mesopotamia and the ergot-based mystery cult of Eleusis, through the opium wars in China and the persecution of medieval herbalist witches, up to the 'psychedelic rebellion' of the sixties and the insanities of the current 'war on drugs,' Eschohotado covers an enormous subject with scholarly acumen and brings the light of reason to bear on topics often shrouded in bigotry, ignorance, and cupidity. Highly recommended!"

"This book examines natural substances used by different cultures to alter the mind. Makes for interesting, thought provoking reading."

Meet the Author

Antonio Escohotado is a professor of philosophy and social science methodology at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain. He travels widely, offering lectures and seminars on the subject of drugs and history.

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