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Having written on subjects as diverse as Confederate sheet music and Semitic hereditary diseases, Abel (psychology, Wayne State Univ., Detroit) turns his scholarly attention to the role of intoxicants in world mythology, reaching beyond time-worn Greek and Roman myths to achieve a culturally diverse subject presentation. The A-to-Z cross-referenced entries include seminal Hindu, South American, Middle Eastern, and Norse mythological figures. Each entry contains the referenced intoxicant-related story; describes the culture from which the myth derives; and, when applicable, offers information on related plant sources and pharmacological effects. Each also concludes with a bibliography. In the appendixes, entries are grouped by category and place of origin. Thought-provoking and highly accessible, this trim, fascinating volume is a useful reference for both the curious layperson and the questing scholar. Recommended for collections focusing on oenology, brewing, ancient mythology, or cultural studies.
—Savannah Schroll Guz