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This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
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This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
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Jul 06, 2021 | ISBN 9780593413104 | 458 Minutes

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“Delightful . . . [This Is Your Mind On Plants] aims to collapse the distinctions between legal and illegal, medical and recreational, exotic and everyday, by appealing to the principle that unites the three: the affinities between plant biochemistry and the human mind.” —New York Review of Books

“[A] thoughtful study . . . As the U.S.’s drug policies become less punitive, [Pollan] argues, we should think more clearly about substances we’ve come to depend on.” —The New Yorker

“[A] wonderful and compelling read that will leave you thinking long after you set it down . . . Pollan is an astonishingly good writer, at times intimate and vulnerable, at times curious and expository, always compelling and credible. Reading his writing can be kind of like taking a psychedelic—a literary onomatopoeia.” —Washington Post
“Pollan is a mindful and enthusiastic psychonaut. He is also a gifted writer, who synthesizes unruly social histories and wreathes them around his own drug-taking experiences. And he articulates these experiences with great insight and eloquence.” —The New Republic 

“Expert storytelling . . . [Pollan] masterfully elevates a series of big questions about drugs, plants and humans that are likely to leave readers thinking in new ways.” New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating . . . This Is Your Mind On Plants has much to offer its readers, whether they are curious about the plant-based adventures of others or the science of substances at work in their own minds. With historical depth, political punch, and narrative exuberance, Pollan’s book sounds a call to reimagine society’s relationship with psychoactive plants.” Boston Globe

“Pollan’s insatiable appetite to learn every possible morsel about the subject on which he is writing is a gift that has proved itself with best-seller after best-seller . . . . Anchored by a refreshing willingness to expose his own blind spots, [This Is Your Mind On Plants] is an engrossing, plant-powered blend of general history, contemporary reporting and potent self-reflection.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The author of How to Change Your Mind turns his attention to three consciousness-altering drugs—opium, mescaline and caffeine (yes, it’s a drug)—in this eye-opening exploration.” —People

“[H]ighly engaging reading . . . Pollan’s writing always has a personal aspect to it, but in his latest work he takes an even more central role in the narrative, and his book is the better for it.” —The Daily Beast

“Pollan weaves together three separately engaging stories in a pleasantly meandering style, deftly using his personal experiences with each compound as a jumping-off point for small forays into anthropology, history, politics, psychology, molecular biology, and neuroscience. Even the most distracted reader will come away with an understanding of the physical effects of the spotlighted substances as well as their cultural significance.” Science

“The omnivorously curious Pollan pivots off his provocative How to Change Your Mind with an enthralling odyssey into a trio of mind-altering drugs found in plants: opium, caffeine, and mescaline. In this wide-ranging, deliciously written study, he asks, why does one power us up each morning while the other two are shrouded in taboo? You’ll never look at a Starbucks Pike’s Peak the same way again.” Oprah Daily

This Is Your Mind on Plants is an entertaining blend of memoir, history and social commentary that illustrates Pollan’s ability to be both scientific and personal. By relying on contextual history and focusing on three popular, if misunderstood, drugs, Pollan challenges common views on what mind-altering drugs are and what they can accomplish.”  —BookPage (starred​ review)

“Pollan is a master of breaking down complex science into an engaging story and challenging long-held societal beliefs. His newest offering, which follows his examination of the science of psychedelics in 2018’s How to Change Your Mind, aims to unpack our ideas about what constitutes a ‘drug’ and, fundamentally, why we seek them.” —TIME

“Building on his lysergically drenched book How to Change Your Mind (2018), Pollan looks at three plant-based drugs and the mental effects they can produce. . . . A lucid (in the sky with diamonds) look at the hows, whys, and occasional demerits of altering one’s mind.” Kirkus (starred review)

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