Alchemy of Culture: Intoxicants in Society

Richard Rudgley

From the Publisher

Intoxicants have played an important part in societies all over the world. This text shows that intoxicants have all had a central role in religious or social life, and that the altered states of consciousness produced by each intoxicant are shaped by cultural values.

Plot55 Says

I bought this book several years ago, but lost it soon after. I liked it so much I bought another copy. It covers the use of intoxicating substances throughout various societies and from prehistoric times to the present day. It is nicely in-depth with out being technical. It covers all the major plants and drugs used socially around the world. In later chapters it looks at our use of tea, coffee and tobacco in the West, and compares it with other (supposedly more primitive) cultures’ use of substances like Kava Kava, Coca, Khat, etc. Highly recommended.

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