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Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom Cover Image
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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.

About the Author

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.

Praise For…

“Elegant and authoritative”
— The Independent on Sunday

“An extraordinary account...With its easy style and witty handling of scientific analysis, it makes a fascinating and satisfying read.”
— The Observer

“An intelligent and well-researched book...Full of surprises.”
— The Guardian
Product Details
ISBN: 9780060828295
ISBN-10: 0060828293
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: February 19th, 2008
Pages: 384
Language: English