Author(s): John Mann
Timothy Leary's famous exhortation in 1968 to 'turn on, tune in, drop out' has been blamed for persuading the masses to play with drugs, but the truth is that by the time of the 'Summer of Love' we had already been experimenting with them for thousands of years. Now chemist John Mann has responded to the continuing fascination with psychedelic, narcotic and euphoriant substances by setting out a fascinating and colourful history of their discovery and use. This book tells the story of mind-altering drugs over the centuries, from the poets and artists who produced their work under the influence of opium to the posturing of modern politicians, the iniquities of the international drug trade and the wild excesses of the 1960s and 70s. Previous books by John Mann include Murder, Magic and Medicine published in 1992 and The Elusive Magic Bullet published in 1999, both by Oxford University Press.
John Mann studied chemistry at University College London, obtaining a BSc in 1967 and PhD in 1970. After three years of research in the USA and a year as a Teaching Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, he obtained a lectureship in Organic Chemistry at Reading University, rising through the ranks to become Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1990. In 1999 John accepted the McClay Chair of Biological Chemistry at Queen's University Belfast. Before he retired in 2008 he spent four years as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research. His research focused on the synthesis of medicinally-useful agents, especially those active against cancer and viral infections. John has always been fascinated by the use of natural chemical products in the treatment of disease, as agents for murder and euthanasia and for their mind-expanding properties. His 1992 popular science book for Oxford University Press entitled Murder, Magic and Medicine explored this subject, and was followed by The Elusive Magic Bullet (OUP, 1999), which dealt with the use of natural products for the treatment of disease. In Chasms of Delight he returns to the supposedly magical properties of natural substances.
INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 FROM ERGOT TO LYSERGIC ACID - The origins of LSD Chapter 2 THE MAGIC OF MUSHROOMS - Psilocybe fungi and the LSD link Chapter 3 THE POWER OF THE POPPY - Opium, laudanum and morphine Chapter 4 A DEADLY INDUSTRY - Heroin Chapter 5 COCA AND COLUMBIAN - Cocaine Chapter 6 PEACE, POETRY AND POP - Cannabis, hashish, marijuana Chapter 7 WITCHCRAFT AND ORGIES - Belladonna, mandrake and daturas Chapter 8 HEARTS AND MINDS - Peyote, mescaline and amphetamines Chapter 9 DRUNK ON MUSHROOMS - Fly agaric Chapter 10 THE GREEN FAIRY - Absinthe