New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018
A New York Times Notable Book
The #1 New York Times bestseller.
A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs--and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences
When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.
A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan's "mental travelogue" is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Michael Pollan’s book gets deep into science, history, consciousness, and existence, but we got lost in it as easily as if it were a novel. In his typically conversational style, Pollan explores the history, taboos, and possibilities of psychedelic drugs and what they could mean for the future of mental health and global culture at large. Pollan's boundless curiosity about his subject is infectious—and his vulnerability, honesty, and genuine emotion make How to Change Your Mind truly unforgettable.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A well-rounded book on psychedelics, not just “trip” stories (although those are here too). Very informative and written in a fairly easy-to-read style. It’s obvious the author spent a great deal of time and effort to understand psychedelics (read “entheogens”). Was occasionally dry due to a bunch of names, dates and science- but well worth the read if interested in the topic.
Prose that is clean and full of flow...
...as we have come to expect from Pollan on a remarkable subject matter. In some ways, it may have been only Pollan that could have written this book with such authority and access. Couldn’t put it down.
Will change what you think you knew about Psychedelics. Seems only a matter of time before they are accepted as formal treatment options for some mental disorders.