Published in 1976, this book has been out of print for many years. It is beautifully illustrated with detailed botanical paintings and extremely informative narratives. There is a conspiracy theory that it was removed from publication (albeit after four editions!) due to pressure by the authorities. In the Golden Guide Collectors page it says ” I will finish my tutorial by talking about the myths on Hallucinogenic Plants. Almost every time I see this book for sale it’s mentioned that it was pulled, suppressed, recalled or words to that effect. I’m sure this book was frowned upon when it showed up in libraries. And Golden Press probably was pressured to quit publishing this title. But it took a while. The softcover went through 4 printings. And the large hardcover went through 2 printings. The ultimate reason Golden Press quit publishing this book may never be known”.
Hallucinogenic plants have been used by man for thousands of years, probably since he began gathering plants for food . The hallucinogens have continued to receive the attention of civilized man through the ages. Recently, we have gone through a period during which sophisticated Western society has “discovered ” hallucinogens, and some sectors of that society have ta ken up,for one reason or another, the use of such plants. This trend may be destined to continue.
It is,therefore,important for us to learn as much as we can about ha llucinogenic plants. A great body of scientific literature has been published a bout their uses and their effects, but the information is often locked away in technical journals. The interested layman has a right to sound information on which to base his opm1ons. This book has been written partly to provide that kind of information.
No matter whether we believe that man’s intake of hallucinogens in primitive or sophisticated societies constitutes use, misuse, or abuse, hallucinogenic plants have undeniably played an exten sive role in human culture and probably shall continue to do so. It follows that a clear understanding of these physically and socially potent agents should be a part of man’s general education.
R . E . S
RICHARD EVANS SCHULTES, Ph.D., F.L.S., is professor of natural sciences and director of the Botanical Museum at Harvard University. An internationally known botanist specializing in narcotic, medicinal and poisonous plants, Dr. Schultes spent some 14 years in South America living among Indian tribes in order to investigate directly their uses of such plants. Dr. Schultes is the recipient of numerous honors, among them a decoration from the government of Colombia for his work in the Amazon, and is a member of several American and foreign academies of science, including the National Academy of Sciences. He is editor of the journal Economic Botany and the author of many scientific papers; with Albert Hofmann he wrote The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens.
ELMER W. SMITH, a new England Yankee by birth and inclination, is a free-lance artist, self-taught in art, with an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts. He illustrated the Golden Guide ORCHIDS, and has traveled and collected in the Amazon with his friend and colleague the author of HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS. Smith’s work appears in children’s books as well as in scientific journals, and he has illustrated numerous textbooks in the field of biology. Currently he is an artist at the Botanical Museum of Harvard University.
What are hallucinogenic plants? How do they affect mind and body? Who uses them — and why? This unique Golden Guide surveys the role of psychoactive plants in primitive and civilized societies from early times to the present. The first nontechnical guide to both the cultural significance and physiological effects of hallucinogens, hallucinogenic plants will fascinate general readers and students of anthropology and history as well as botanists and other specialists. All of the wild and cultivated species considered are illustrated in brilliant full color.