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Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution Hardcover – February 1, 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,027 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

The ethnobotanist co-author of Psilocybin: The Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide (not reviewed) puts forth the theory that magic mushrooms are the original ``tree of knowledge'' and that the general lack of psychedelic exploration is leading Western society toward eventual collapse or destruction--controversial statements, to say the least, though the argument's details often prove fascinating. In the beginning, McKenna tells us, there were protohumans with small brains and plenty of genetic competition, and what eventually separated the men from the apes was an enthusiasm for the hallucinogenic mushrooms that grew on the feces of local cattle. Claiming that psilocybin in the hominid diet would have enhanced eyesight, sexual enjoyment, and language ability and would have thereby placed the mushroom-eaters in the front lines of genetic evolution--eventually leading to hallucinogen-ingesting shamanistic societies, the ancient Minoan culture, and some Amazonian tribes today--McKenna also asserts that the same drugs are now outlawed in the US because of their corrosive effect on our male-dominated, antispiritual society. Unconsciously craving the vehicles by which our ancestors expanded their imaginations and found meaning in their lives, he says, we feast on feeble substitutes: coffee, sugar, and chocolate, which reinforce competition and aggressiveness; tobacco, which destroys our bodies; alcohol, whose abuse leads to male violence and female degradation; TV, which deadens our senses; and the synthetics--heroin, cocaine and their variations--which leave us victimized by our own addiction. On the other hand, argues McKenna, magic mushrooms, used in a spiritually enlightened, ritual manner, can open the door to greater consciousness and further the course of human evolution- -legalization of all drugs therefore is, he says, an urgent necessity. Provocative words--often captivating, but not often convincing. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bantam; 1st edition (February 1, 1992)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 311 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0553078682
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0553078688
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 2,027 ratings

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Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and was an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness. He was called the "Timothy Leary of the '90s", "one of the leading authorities on the ontological foundations of shamanism", and the "intellectual voice of rave culture".

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Entropath (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
2,027 global ratings

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Mylife
5.0 out of 5 stars Proud
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2020
32 people found this helpful
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Liz Summers
5.0 out of 5 stars unmistakably McKenna
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2020
8 people found this helpful
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Ermemis
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2019
9 people found this helpful
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Doobavitch
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling quality. Pages falling out.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2021
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Sarah
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful print quality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2020
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Sarah
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful print quality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2020
This is not a review of the book as I've yet to read it.

I have had two of these books sent from Amazon now, the first had pages falling out, the cover was different and the quality of the paper and font was very poor. A replacement arrived with the first page of the book ripped and glued into the spine. The paper and font was equally as poor. Not good considering the price.

I'll buy elsewhere.
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3 people found this helpful
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