The "Godfather of Ecstasy," whose name is Alexander Shulgin (though his friends call him Sasha ... and his critics, much worse). Image © Brian Vastag

Ecstacy: The MDMA Story

Bruce Eisner

With large numbers of young people taking illegal drugs, it wasn't long before Parliament had passed a number of increasingly harsh laws against MDMA and against raves themselves. To avoid police harassment, raves moved from traditional nightclub venues to less predictable locations such as empty warehouses and open fields along the "Orbital," the highway encircling London.

Publisher: Ronin
Paperback: 196 pages


Psychedelics Encyclopedia

Peter Stafford

Stafford offers one of the most complete and thorough studies of psychedelics to date, gathering information from personal accounts, scientific research and related literature to document psychedelia from the '60s to the present day. Discussed in great detail are: LSD, mescaline, marijuana, DMT, STP and a host of others. The history, botany, physical and mental effects are also presented. Incredibly well-researched, this is the third expanded edition. Learn about: LSD-like compounds found in the common morning glory, the hallucinations of jungle foliage and dancing naked goddesses of the yage, and early mushroom-using Siberian shamans. DW

Publisher: Ronin
Paperback: 512 pages

Psychedelics: A Collection of the Most Exciting New Material on Psychedelic Drugs

Compiled by Thomas Lyttle

Hallucinatory highlights from the quasi-academic journal Psychedelic Monographs and Essays compiled by its intrepid editor. Essays include: “Ludiomil, LSD-25 and the Lucid Dream,” “The Seven Deadly Sins of Media Hype Considered in Light of the MDMA Controversy,” “Disney's Intrapsychic Drama Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Grofian Interpretation,” “Amazon Shamanism: The Ayahuasca Experience” and “Further Comments on U4Euh With More Recent Addenda.” GR

Publisher: Barricade
Paperback: 272 pages

Recreational Drugs

Professor Buzz

Manufacturing illicit drugs is some serious hoodoo to trifle with. This caution is sternly proffered by the author to the point of redundancy (to his credit). The formulas given include LSD, amphetamines, Quaaludes, a somewhat gruesome process for extracting the adrenaline from animal adrenal glands, and many other useful things. Buzz wishes the reader to understand that none of these formulas are to be trusted, and that only a proficient organic chemist utilizing formulas published in legitimate scientific journals should attempt these syntheses. This cookbook serves the important function of dissuading the ambitious dope dealer/complete idiot from poisoning people, injuring themselves, or getting themselves arrested by attempting dangerous business for which they are not qualified. Or better yet, it motivates such individuals to learn chemistry. DN

Publisher: Loompanics
Paperback: 166 pages

Rogue Primate: An Exploration of Human Domestication

John A. Livingston

Here's a radical idea: The first domesticated animal, says the author, was neither dog nor goat, but human. Humans cut themselves adrift from the real world by becoming entirely dependant on ideas. Now humans have drawn other animals, and even the natural world itself, into the service of their belief systems. At what price? Are we really a herd of rutting pigs eating and breeding our way across this island Earth? A provocative theory that seems to explain everything from God to potatoes. GR

Publisher: Roberts Rinehart
Hardback: 311 pages

Sadhus: India's Mystic Holy Men

Dolf Hartsuiker

Definitive look at India's Hindu holy men and their culture. The Sadhus collectively are hundreds of separate and different sects, each with certain beliefs and practices. These mystical holy men practice “enlightenment for the real purpose of life”—the basic concept of Indian culture. They devote themselves full time to exploration of the “Inner Light.” The Sadhus choose a life free of all but a few small possessions and comforts, and no sensual pleasures whatsoever. Many smoke hashish and practice yoga to gain enlightenment. The author systematically photographed these holy men and explains the many different devotional styles—such as standing or keeping their right arm raised for years—as homage to specific gods. Bewildering and relentless—many color photos. DW

Publisher: Inner Traditions
Paperback: 128 pages

Salvinorin: The Psychedelic Essence of Salvia Divinorum

D.M. Turner

Isolated from a rare Mexican sage found in only a few ravine locations in the Sierra Mazateca mountains, the active compound, salvinorin A, has dramatic effects. Used by Mazatec Indian shamans in Oaxaca and first described by Swedish anthropologist Jean Basset Johnson in 1939, it is easily propagated by cuttings, and during the past few decades it has made its way into numerous botanical gardens and private collections around the world. It is thought by many botanists that Salvia divinorum is a cultigen; it is not known to exist in the wild, and the few patches that are known in the Sierra Mazateca appear to be the result of deliberate planting.
The high, as described by Turner, is another matter, after all, not exactly an LSD high but similar to it, the entire experience lasting around 20 minutes. Results range from alarming intensity to exquisite feelings. Firsthand accounts from the author are bizarre and questionable considering the amount of psychedelic experimentation under his belt. He explains time and again his confusion regarding which high is residual from past LSD use and which is attributable to current Salvia divinorum, and any other psychedelics that may have crossed his path. Every method is described and used, from smoking, snorting, eating and any other way he can think of ingesting the herb. Descriptions are extensive and vivid. CF

Publisher: Panther
Paperback: 57 pages

Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics

Alfred Korzybski

Important 20th-century philosophy of the mind and culture. Korzybski is the man who coined the slogan, “the map is not the territory.” The meat of Scientology/Dianetics (the theory of the reactive mind and more) was lifted from this book—get “clear” on the cheap! William Burroughs also studied with Korzybski in the 1930s in Chicago. SS

Publisher: Institute of General Semantics
Paperback: 806 pages

The Scientist: A Metaphysical Autobiography

John Lilly, M.D.

From his early work with monkey brain implants and dolphin communication to experiments with isolation tanks and Vitamin K. “In the Day-glo psychedelic '60s, you never found J.C. Lilly wearing tie-dyes to rock concerts. Nor for him the voyage to the Ganges or Woodstock. We all saw Lilly as some sort of wizard, a science-fiction starman, a unique back-to-the-future alchemist. A new Paracelsus. A veritable Isaac Newton of the Mind… This is one of the great personal stories of our culture, written with the scientific precision that most call honesty. No one has gone as far into the future as John C. Lilly and managed to return (reluctantly, we know) with such clarity and good humor. Guard your copy of The Scientist. It's a precious relic of our wonderful, incredible age.”—Timothy Leary.

Publisher: Ronin
Paperback: 320 pages

Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture: Including Recipes for MDA, Ecstacy and Other Psychedelic Amphetamines

Uncle Fester

Live the dream of unlimited insomnia, endless frenzied chatter and deepening paranoia—then profit from selling it to those you can trust least, your fellow tweakers. Fester guides the would-be “underground chemist” from “Industrial Scale Production” on down to “Last Resort Crank—Extracting Methamphetamine from Vick's Inhalers.” Not for the faint of sinus. SS

Publisher: Loompanics
Paperback: 246 pages

Shamans of the 20th Century

Ruth-Inge Heinze

This book shows that it is possible to be a shaman and lead a successful life in the 20th century. Heinze introduces us to the lives of a Korean shaman who won a folk song contest in her home country, making her a TV star, and a Haitian voodoo neurochemist with a degree in biochemistry from Cornell University, among many others. This study is the result of five decades of work with shamans from all over the world. “The reader will, furthermore, learn more about the background of the oracle who is still consulted by the Dalai Lama at his residence at Daramsala, Northern India, and the shamanistic work of a 'Western' lawyer in the United States.” AF

Publisher: Irvington
Paperback: 259 pages