In this accessible, entertaining and scholarly book, Stuart Walton takes on Nietzsche's challenge in "The Gay Science": "who will ever relate the whole history of narcotica"? It is almost the history of "culture" - from Greek and Roman antiquity, through the middle ages, the English Restoration, to the 21st century. This text guides the reader through the western history of intoxication and examines its implications for society, culture, religion and the corporeal individual. this is the first complete account of how and why human beings in all ages have had recourse to altered states of consciousness (whether through drugs or alcohol) as a primary requisite of daily life.
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'A fluent plea for legalisation, by the only wine writer ever to admit that one of the best things about wine is the fact that it gets you pissed.' -- Class, 1 December 2001
'Irvine Welsh and Stuart Walton have done more than most writers to change our attitudes to drug use.' -- The Independent, 16 August 2001
'Out Of It is the most refreshing book ever published on the subject ... beautifully written.' -- Big Issue, 16 July 2001
'Reading Stuart Walton's prose is a bit like going on some kind of trip. His erudition is dizzying.' -- Mail on Sunday, 29 July 2001
'True to its theme, Walton's compelling and trenchant polemic is apt to induce a welter of sensations.' -- Evening Standard, 25 June 2001
Stuart Walton has written for the Observer and the Sunday Telegraph as well as for numerous magazines. He has been described by the Independent as the writer, with Irvine Welsh, who has done most to change our views on drugs. He lives in Brighton.
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