I've had an interest in psychedelics before reading this book, so I came in already open-minded. This book gave me a different perspective on the medical application of psychedelics. It also directed me to some new concepts like holotropic breathing and a fairly extensive history or psychedelics in American culture. Fascinating read! Michael Pollen is an exceptional journalist and storyteller.
written from the vantage point of a outsider (until he wrote this book), this book gives a unique perspective into the world of Psychedelics and their huge potential. his humility and healthy skepticism as a journalist make a great combo to give a thorough critique of these powerful molecules.
It's concise, scientific and fair. If you're on the fence or find the language of the "spiritual" or "counter-culture" to be a turn off to exploring this realm, this is the book for you. The author, by all rights, is an explorer not because of this topic but because topic requires exploration. It's clear the agenda is of scientific discovery and a reawakening of the practical and spiritual purposes of these molecules.
the best sane approach to a subject that has too often been all too wrapped up in non scientific language and thinking, all too ready to accept the most illogical and emotional thoughts and rationale. This book in contrast breaks through the genre with a down to earth approach and yet ready to accept the vision and experience that psychedelic therapy has to offer.
So often books and videos about psychedelics are taken from a post use hippie new age perspective so it was really refreshing and more interesting to hear this man's journey from newbie to trying the major 4 psychoactive drugs available today. And especially given that he wasn't too quick to conclude or associate his experience with the supernatural or God but rather decided to look into what science says is going on related to the physicality, the default network, the Ego etc.