American trip : set, setting, and the psychedelic experience in the Twentieth century / Ido Hartogsohn.

Hartogsohn, Ido, author.
Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2020]
1 online resource.
Hallucinogenic drugs -- Research -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Hallucinogenic drugs -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Hallucinogenic drugs -- Psychological aspects.
Psychology, Experimental -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Drug control -- United States.
"Do drugs produce fixed, predictable effects or are their effects a product of society and culture? American Trip explores this question, presenting the most comprehensive description of mid-twentieth-century hallucinogenic drug research thus far. American Trip follows seven different mid-twentieth-century schools of psychedelic research including the military, the psychotherapeutic, the spiritual, the creative and the entrepreneurial. The book is focused on mid-twentieth-century hallucinogenic drug research as well as on the introduction of psychedelics into American society at the time. It contextualizes these developments with an eye on the grander cultural trends of the time such as the cold war, the counterculture, the anti-psychiatric movement, and the rise of cybernetics. The closing chapter extends the book's purview beyond mid-twentieth-century concerns and moves on to discuss the evolution of the cultural set and setting for psychedelic use since the 1960s. Going well beyond the merely descriptive, it spells out the crucial implications that the insights of set and setting hold for questions of medicine and drug policy. It suggests that drug policy has generally been barking up the wrong tree. Rather than focusing on the types of drugs people use, drug policy should focus on how people use them. In addition, greater medical efficacy gains can be achieved by focusing on considerations of set and setting, rather than on drug development. The book is unique in the broad, in-depth historical and cultural analysis it affords to the subject of context (set and setting) and its crucial role in shaping drug effects across times and cultures. It is the first book to deeply and thoroughly engage the idea that social and cultural forces and themes shape drug experiences within a culture, by providing an account which meshes together the social, the cultural, the medical, the historical and the pharmacological. Additionally, American Trip is the most comprehensive scholarly work on mid-twentieth-century hallucinogenic drug research thus far, which makes a natural source for anyone interested in the history of psychedelic research. Finally, at a time when psychedelic research and therapy attract growing interest and attention, and in which questions of set and setting stand at the center of scholarly and popular discussion on drug use, American Trip moves the conversation forward by suggesting a thorough, pioneering and innovative treatment to the subject of set and setting"-- Provided by publisher.
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