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Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming 1st Edition
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More About the Author
But Peter Gorman's body of work is not restricted to the Drug War. He has also written about the Amazon jungle, ayahuasca, art, architecture, bars, camel fairs, cowboys, crocodile farms, Dallas nightlife, day labor, education, environmental issues, Earth First!, floating slums, frogs, gas-drilling, immigrant smuggling, indigenous peoples, iron workers, Moroccan hashish harvesting, Plan Colombia, plant medicines, police work, poverty, prison sentencing, rat catchers, sculpture, sharks, snake charmers, sports and street artists, among a host of other topics.
Peter Gorman's love affair with the Amazon jungle is well known to people in the field. Since 1984, Mr. Gorman has spent a minimum of three months annually there--as well as all of 1998-2000--generally using Iquitos, Peru as his base of operations.
During that time he has studied ayahuasca, the legendary visionary and healing drink of the jungle, with his friend, the late curandero Julio Jerena, as well as the San Pedro, the sacred cactus of the highlands, with the healer Victor Estrada.
He has also collected botanical specimens for Shaman Pharmaceuticals and herpetological specimens for the FIDIA Research Institute of the University of Rome. He was the first person to ever work with the medicinal knowledge of the remote Matses Indians of the Peruvian-Brazilian border, and his description of their use of the secretions of the phyllomedusa bicolor frog has opened an entire field devoted to the use of amphibian peptides as potential medicines in Western medicine. (His initial writing on the effects of the secretions is the first description of a human taking an animal substance directly into the bloodstream ever recorded.) His work with the phyllomedusa bicolor has been the subject of an article in Science magazine and several scientific journals; his work in Peru in general was the subject of a Newsweek feature, a recent Men's Journal feature and numerous other newspaper and magazine articles
He has also collected artifacts from the Matses for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, several of which are on permanent display in that museum's Hall of South American Peoples.
In 1997, Mr. Gorman and his wife Gilma discovered the only fossil bed ever found in the Iquitos area. Their preliminary dig exposed three identifiable animal fossils dating from 3-30 million years old when examined by the Department of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. They are currently working on funding to have it properly explored.
To do his work in Peru, over the years Peter Gorman has rebuilt several boats, traveled thousands of miles of jungle waterways, hiked across the Peruvian jungle on numerous occasions, suffered from malaria and a botfly infestation, been bitten by ants, rats, spiders, vampire bats and other scary things, and generally had a rollicking good time with it all. Penthouse magazine once referred to one of his expeditions as rivaling "a real Indiana Jones' adventure."
Mr. Gorman's feature writing has appeared in dozens of major national and international magazines, including Airone (Italy), Americas, the magazine of the Organization of American States, Buzzworm, Elle, GEO (Spain), Geographical (England), Geo Mundo (Mexico), Modern Maturity, Omni, Panorama (Holland), Penthouse, Playboy, Sette (Italy), Shaman's Drum, Spy, Suisse Familia (Switzerland), Trip (Brazil), VSD, Wildlife Conservation, World (England), Zeit Magazin (Germany) and ZOOM (France).
His newspaper features and editorials have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, New York Newsday, The New York Daily News, the Times of India, the Fort Worth Weekly, the Earth First! Journal, the Orange County Register, the Santa Fe Reporter and elsewhere. In 2007 he was named Print Journalist of the Year in Texas by the Houston Press Club.
He has also written a number of video pieces, including work for the United Nations and the Salvation Army. He has consulted for both National Geographic's Explorer series and the BBC's Natural World.
As a speaker, Mr. Gorman has lectured at the Boston Museum of Science, the New York Open Center, at Axiom and Mind/Biz/Spirit conferences, and has been a featured speaker at each of the first four Shamanism Conferences held annually in Iquitos, Peru. He has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows, in several documentaries and on hundreds of radio shows, including an all-nighter with Art Bell.
Mr. Gorman is a former recipient of a Blue Mountain Fellowship in investigative journalism and a grant from Conservation International (then-headed by Mark Plotkin) to do a study of indigenous peoples on the Napo River.
Peter Gorman currently lives in Texas on a small ranch with his three kids and when not there can be found investigating Drug War stories, taking occasional groups out into the deep jungle or looking for a new location in Iquitos for the currently defunct Cold Beer Blues Bar.
Top Customer Reviews
It gives us interior struggles related to substance abuse and relationship issues; a cast of fascinating personalities, vividly evoked -- Peter's family, friends, employees, clients, and, perhaps, a couple of enemies; descriptions of Iquitos and the surrounding rainforest that are worthy of the highest standards of travel writing; and fantastic psychological adventures in which the dark and bright miracles of the ayahuasca are detailed with a poet's eloquence.
Another excellent book on ayahuasca that was published recently is Singing to the Plants, by Steve Beyer. Beyer's book gives an eagle's perspective: he takes the reader high above the phenomenon of mestizo ayahuasca practice in Peru, and shows its major patterns, and the different peoples who practice it, and their ideas about it. The material is presented coolly, clearly, and encyclopedically with various well-organized topics. Peter's book, in contrast, gives an anaconda's perspective, swimming deep in the dark rivers of an individual's very personal experience as he reluctantly takes on some of the functions of a curandero while struggling to keep his family together.
I read a lot in general, but usually put down most books as I get bored with them at some point during the process......This one however, I could not put down and even had to force my self to read only a little at a time towards the end just to extend my enjoyment of reading it...........I am keeping my fingers crossed that Gorman will release a sequal(s) or some kind of writings that follow up where he left off.......Eagerly waiting and in full support....and yes....once again....highly recommended!
Three years ago, I was able to repay Gorman for nursing me back to health in the Cold Beer Blues Bar by advising him to write up his ayahuasca adventures. In fact, I importuned him over the course of a year, as he had me to heal my jungle injuries, to keep churning out the colorful and educational shaman, plant medicine and jungle lore sketches and putting them into a book he finally titled Ayahuasca in my Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming. The books came off the self-publish press in 2010 two months before the annual July Iquitos International Shaman Conference where he had totted and sold the first copies to the conventioneers.
The narrative weaves wonderful, honest and horrifying anecdotes in and out an educational journey through the personal and public evolutional of ayahuasca tourism, and much more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Same old information and filler. I wish we could find better books on this fascinating subject.Published 22 days ago by Gilligan
Excellent read. Sometimes gets too detailed on his own visions without delving into the big picture much but nonetheless fascinating stuff. Disappointing ending. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sir Charles
Great read! Very unique and personal look at Ayahuasca shamanism from probably one of the more experienced "gringos" in this area... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Travis Bodick
Gorman's 'Ayahuasca in My Blood' is easily one of the most deeply felt and illuminating books on ayahuasca. Read morePublished 14 months ago by M.R.H
This was an amazing read. It had a very genuine feel to it. I couldn't put it down and stayed up until 4 am to finish it. I sent it to my sister to read too, she loved it also.Published 14 months ago by Gabriella
his ability to recall with surprising precision what he experienced after drinking ayahuasca is a huge accomplishment, to bring back what he does from where he's been thoroughly... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kindle Customer
In my continued search for ways to improve people's health, I have read a number of books on traditional tribal shamanism. Read morePublished 18 months ago by David Getoff