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Goolker, P. (1960). Drugs and the Mind: By Robert S. de Ropp. Foreword by Nathan S. Kline. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1960. Originally published by St. Martin's Press, 1957. 310 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:407-409.
(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:407-409
Drugs and the Mind: By Robert S. de Ropp. Foreword by Nathan S. Kline. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1960. Originally published by St. Martin's Press, 1957. 310 pp.
Review by: Paul Goolker
Dr. de Ropp, a biochemist formerly associated with the Rockefeller Institute, and the author of a historical novel about the fall of Jerusalem in addition to his scientific publications, has written a 'popular' book on drugs affecting the mind. Dr. Kline, who has had an active role in the clinical use of the tranquilizers, writes in the foreword that the book characterizes 'a profound history of man's attempt to wiggle, worm, and squirm his way out of himself'.
De Ropp discusses the current emphasis on drugs in psychiatry and reviews the history of such drugs as hashish, which was used extensively in China in 2737 B.C., rauwolfia root, which has been used in India for twenty-five hundred years, and the more familiar drugs, coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, and alcohol. He also includes reports of self-observations of the dramatic effects of drugs by Baudelaire (marijuana), De Quincy (opium), Havelock Ellis (mescaline), Aldous Huxley (mescaline), and Weir Mitchell (mescaline). Although the fact that drugs which give relief or euphoria may also have deleterious effects is discussed, an attempt is made to clear up misconceptions about addiction.
Drugs affecting the mind fall into two main categories: sedatives and stimulants, which are now referred to as analeptics. In the past these drugs were endowed with a halo of divinity. For instance, peytal (mescaline) was sacred to the Aztecs and coca to the Incas.
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