“Pollan keeps you turning the pages . . . cleareyed and assured.” —New York Times
A #1 New York Times Bestseller,New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018, and New York TimesNotable Book
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.
This book is a good story about how people evolve in their beliefs when it comes to a subject so personal as to how to change your mind. I’m personally well versed in the history of psychology and treatments available over the past 15 years or so. What I learned from this book is not only eye opening but inspiring to see how collectively humans strive to make improvements to quality of life that I never thought possible.55
Thank you Mr. Pollan for teaching people actually fiction. I absolutely recommend this book for people that’s looking to find all real facts.55
...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.55
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.55
...than a fascinating tale about the history of psychedelics and Pollan's own experiences with them. It puts the blessing and curse of the human ego in a perspective I was completely unaware of. Fascinating, and useful information.55
Elementary account of psychedelics at best. Author is a terrible writer ... first 300 (digital) pages could be summed up in 25! Lack of focus on history/timeline and results very repetitive. I’m shocked this book came so highly recommended and will be an active participant in passing along my negative thoughts and experience with the book should it ever come up in conversation.15
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.45