P&P Live! Michael Pollan — THIS IS YOUR MIND ON PLANTS - with Alix Spiegel

Upcoming Event
Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 8:00pm

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*Special signed bookplates are available for event attendees (while supplies last!)

This event is presented in partnership with our friends at Books & Books, Community Bookstore, and Harvard Bookstore.

Of all the things humans rely on plants for—sustenance, beauty, medicine, fragrance, flavor, fiber—surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate or calm, fiddle with or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Take coffee and tea: People around the world rely on caffeine to sharpen their minds. But we do not usually think of caffeine as a drug, or our daily use as an addiction, because it is legal and socially acceptable. So, then, what is a "drug"? And why, for example, is making tea from the leaves of a tea plant acceptable, but making tea from a seed head of an opium poppy a federal crime?

In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?

Pollan will be in conversation with Alix Spiegel, one of the founding producers of the public radio show This American Life, and went on to co-found the hit NPR show and podcast Invisibilia, a program about human behavior. Spiegel worked as a science reporter for NPR News for nine years, her writing has also appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times.


P&P Live!
Washington, DC 20008
Non Fiction
This Is Your Mind on Plants Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593296905
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - July 6th, 2021

Not Signed or Personalized