High Society

Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture

$21.99

Available

ISBN: 9780500289105 Categories: ,

Mike Jay

Description

High Society explores the spectrum of mind-altering substances across the globe and throughout history. Beautifully illustrated with rarely seen material, this striking and rigorously researched book puts its controversial subject into the widest possible context.

Every society is a high society. Every day, people drink coffee on European terraces and kava in Pacific villages, sniff cocaine in American suburbs and petrol in Aborigine slums, chew betel nut in Indonesian markets and coca leaf on Andean mountainsides, swallow ecstasy tablets in the clubs of Amsterdam and opium pills in the deserts of Rajasthan, and smoke ya’aba in Thai nightclubs, and tobacco in every nation on earth.

Cultural historian Mike Jay paints vivid portraits of the roles that drugs play as medicines, religious sacraments, status symbols and trade goods. He traces the understanding of intoxicants from the classical world through the mind-bending self-experiments of early scientists to the present ‘war on drugs’, and reveals how the international trade in substances such as tobacco, tea and opium shaped the modern world.

Additional information

Weight 644 g
Dimensions 16.9 x 24.1 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 February 2012
Number of pages 192
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 16.9 x 24.1 cm
Weight 644 g
Mike Jay has written widely on the cultural history of science, medicine and the mind. His books include The Influencing Machine, The Story of James Tilly Matthews and his Confinement in Eighteenth-century Bedlam and High Society: Mind-altering Drugs in History and Culture. He reviews regularly for The London Review of Books and The Wall Street Journal. This Way Madness Lies was written in conjunction with the exhibition 'Bedlam: the asylum and beyond', which he co-curated for the Wellcome Collection in London. He is a research affiliate of the Health Humanities Centre at University College London and a trustee of the Bethlem Art and History Collection.