Yale University Press


US and UK


A definitive history of mescaline that explores its mind-altering effects across cultures, from ancient America to western modernity.


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‘This is a terrific account of mescaline, the first psychedelic. Mike Jay has nailed it.’   Michael Pollan


‘Jay is our foremost cultural historian of psychotropic substances and this is a fascinating and brilliantly researched account.’    Marcus Boon, author of The Road of Excess


‘Outstanding…Jay tells a fascinating story with style.’   William Bynum, author of The History of Medicine


Interview with VICE: ‘The fascinating history of mescaline’


‘A wonderfully engaging narrative…a fascinating and culturally rich dialogue between indigenous, scientific, occult and artistic territories’   essay review by Robert Dickins, Psychedelic Press Journal XXVII


‘An excellent psychedelic history’    essay review by Jules Evans, Medium


‘Thoroughly researched…packed with interest’    The Arts Desk