Mushrooms, Russia and History » R. Gordon Wasson

Mushrooms, Russia and History
Valentina Pavlovna Wasson and R.Gordon Wasson
Pantheon Books, New York. 1957

plate from Mushrooms Russia and History book
This FREE digital edition of R. Gordon Wasson’s Mushrooms, Russia and History was scanned from the original and hand corrected by Igor Dolgov, Zachary Jones, and Greg Golden, with thanks to a generous contributor. A PDF file has been created and can be downloaded to your computer for free. It contains both volumes and all of the color plates. Only 517 copies of the original book were printed in 1957.

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Mushrooms, Russia and History coversA hefty monograph on the history, science, linguistics, folklore, art, and eroticism of mushrooms—and, not least, their gastronomical role; also present is an account of sacred mushroom consumption that brought a great deal of attention to psychoactive fungi and to the Wassons’ experiences therewith, strongly influencing the psychedelic movement.

Valentina Wasson’s upbringing in mushroom-loving Russia inspired this work, although directly Russian-related material is scant compared to the masses of international lore compiled here. Befitting a labor of love, the volume was handsomely printed by the prestigious Stamperia Valdonega (following Hans Mardersteig’s design) on heavy paper with deckle edges. Its pochoir plates reproduce beautiful life-sized watercolor paintings of mushrooms done by naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre, and other numerous plates depict other works of interest such as Gainsborough’s “Mushroom Girl.”

Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Paul Stamets taught me micropropagation, among other things. He’s a practical genius and one of the two top popular mushroom experts in the US, if not the world. (The other is David Aurora, who taught me wild mushroom identification)

In this video, Paul describes mushrooms used in totally new ways to help heal the Earth.