Created January 29, 2009. Revised May 27, 2012; April 30, 2013; and May 27, 2013.
Copyright 1998-2013 by John W. Allen.

A Review of Andy Letcher's Book
"Shrooms: A Cultural History."
Bwookie (The Good Earth)


Bwookie's Review of Andy Letcher's book, Shrooms: A Cultural History
A little dry, but excellent nonetheless (April 21, 2008).

Shroom succeeds where other psychedelic books have failed by providing what the latter are generally lacking: impeccable research. Letcher obviously went into writing the book with the foremost goal of being factually accurate at the expense of appealing to the hippy crowd that might be expected to be the primary audience. The result is a thoroughly engrossing history of magic mushrooms (and agarics). As a fan of these perplexing fungi, I was glad to be able to get a thorough history of such an emotionally charged subject without all the b.s. Letcher spends a lot of time debunking a lot of new-age myths about their historical usage, focusing on Gordon Wasson's mythology the most. My only real complaint is the amount of time spent on Wasson, when perhaps he could have gone more in-depth on the pre-Columbian usage of mushrooms in the New World. Even those readers who are not psychedelically inclined would likely be drawn into the underground world of shrooms and their adherents. Highly recommended.

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