Brains on Drugs: How tinkering with consciousness became a societal sin

In Psychonauts: Drugs and the Making of the Modern Mind, cultural historian Mike Jay explores the use of drugs throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries in investigating altered states of consciousness. From morphine to laughing gas and hashish to cocaine, Jay delves into both the experiences of people who used these drugs and how their experiences were communicated. The book examines a range of figures, including William James, Charles Baudelaire, and Timothy Leary, and highlights how cultural and legal attitudes towards drugs have shifted over time. Jay also addresses current issues around drug use and policy, including the resurgence of interest in certain types of psychedelic drugs.

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