How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

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How to Change Your Mind is Pollan’s sweeping and often thrilling chronicle of the history of psychedelics, their brief modern ascendancy and suppression, their renaissance and possible future, all interwoven with a self-deprecating travelogue of his own cautious but ultimately transformative adventures...
-Guardian

Synopsis

A brilliant and brave investigation by Michael Pollan, author of five New York Times best sellers, 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.
 

About Michael Pollan

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A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan is the nation's most trusted resource for food-related issues. He is the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Society.
 
Published May 15, 2018 by Penguin Press. 477 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 03 2018
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for How to Change Your Mind
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 20 2018

The author’s evenhanded but generally positive approach shoos away scaremongering while fully recognizing that we’re out in the tall grass...A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by John Williams on May 14 2018

Like another best-selling Michael (Lewis), Pollan keeps you turning the pages even through his wonkiest stretches.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Oliver Burkeman on May 22 2018

How to Change Your Mind is Pollan’s sweeping and often thrilling chronicle of the history of psychedelics, their brief modern ascendancy and suppression, their renaissance and possible future, all interwoven with a self-deprecating travelogue of his own cautious but ultimately transformative adventures...

Read Full Review of How to Change Your Mind: What... | See more reviews from Guardian
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