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Andrew O’Hagan: Dinner at the Digs

20 March 2008
... happiness, but by and large these books always have the same message: eat fish and plants. Most of the other stuff in supermarkets should just be binned. A recent, very austere contribution by MichaelPollan, In Defence of Food (Allen Lane, £16.99) argues that one should only eat things that have been nourished by sunlight. But what are creatures that are allergic to sunlight supposed to do? I ...

Who gets to trip?

Mike Jay: Psychedelics

27 September 2018
How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics 
by Michael Pollan.
Allen Lane, 465 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 0 241 29422 2
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Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds 
by Lauren Slater.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 316 37064 6
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... That such stories find favour in the attention economy reflects the success of the researchers and campaigners generating the stories. Early in his survey of ‘the new science of psychedelics’, MichaelPollan talks to Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), pioneers of therapeutic research into MDMA, LSD and ayahuasca, who is candid about his choice of the ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: The Happiness Project

22 April 2010
... with many a theatre of war. At the moment, the ‘Advice’ bestseller list is heavy with books by people who don’t want you to be heavy. 1. Now Eat This! by Rocco DiSpirito 2. Food Rules by MichaelPollan 3. Bank on Yourself by Pamela Yellen 4. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel 5. The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise Yet the watered-down-Atkins-like ...

The Bird-Haunt

Harry Clifton

20 July 2000
... last of the early Irish hermits, I lift the hatch like a desktop And light floods in, A giant scriptorium, Sky and water. Antrim to the east, Its reef of lights. And the dot-dash-dot Of a pollan fleet, on the far horizon. And the planes, the trajectories, Flickering endlessly in and out Of Aldergrove airport. An hour from now, it will be dark And arctic. November – The month of the long ...
20 March 2014
Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat 
by Philip Lymbery, with Isabel Oakeshott.
Bloomsbury, 426 pp., £12.99, January 2014, 978 1 4088 4644 5
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Planet Carnivore 
by Alex Renton.
Guardian, 78 pp., £1.99, August 2013
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... Oakeshott, political editor of the Sunday Times, travelled the world to investigate ‘factory farming’. The horrors they witness will come as little surprise to anyone who has read Peter Singer, MichaelPollan, Felicity Lawrence, Eric Schlosser or any of the previous exposés of factory-farmed meat, but they make grim and startling reading even so. If you can get beyond the title, the great virtues ...

The Unpredictable Cactus

Emily Witt: Mescaline

22 December 2019
Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic 
by Mike Jay.
Yale, 297 pp., £18.99, May 2019, 978 0 300 23107 6
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... but also a stand-in for a sober general public to whom, until the arrival of mescaline, all mind-altering drugs had been “dope”, of interest only to bohemians, foreigners and criminals’ – the MichaelPollan of his time.*In the aftermath of The Doors of Perception, the cactus experience appeared in the emerging literature of the Beats and the pages of the New Yorker. Peyote buttons were ...

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