• List Price: $22.00
  • Save: $1.24 (6%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Essential Substances: A Cultural History of Intoxicants in Society Hardcover – May 1, 1994

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$5.24 $0.01


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc; 1 edition (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568360169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568360164
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,345,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rudgley, who teaches anthropology at Oxford University, here reviews the use of intoxicants since prehistoric times and finds that "the universal human need for liberation from the restrictions of mundane existence is satisfied by experiencing altered states of consciousness." His documented argument that intoxicants have always been an integral part of societies is convincing. So are his insights: drug dealers in communities like Manhattan's Spanish Harlem are pursuing "many of the ideals of the American dream . . . in their entrepreneurial aggression at the workplace." If Rudgley's attempt to steer a middle course between the scholarly and the popular is not completely successful, his book is entertaining and at times provocative. It includes such interesting illustrations as a wooden snuff tray from Chile, a Mayan mushroom stone and a portrait titled Sniffer painted by a 19th-century aboriginal artist.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Oxford anthropologist Rudgley offers a survey of the use of intoxicants from the Stone Ages to modern society. Instead of making wild claims about the centrality of intoxicants in human evolution, Rudgley is content simply to note the ubiquity of drug use, leaving readers to draw their own conclusions. A particularly interesting observation is that, contrary to popular belief, many cultures used intoxicants for secular as well as spiritual purposes. While Rudgley has offered a sampling of cultures rather than an exhaustive survey, he has included enough information to make this book interesting to general readers and a useful starting point for serious scholars. Recommended for all libraries.
Eric Hinsdale, Trinity Univ. Lib., San Antonio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By James E. Vanpatten IV on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Product came way ahead of scheduled date. The packing was great and product was protected. Product exceeded expectations. I will recommend this company to friends and use them in the future. Friend is studying intoxicants and she loved the book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Essential Substances" has been selected for listing in "Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: An Entheogen Chrestomathy." [...]
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images