Michael Pollan, "How to Change Your Mind," with Burkhard Bilger

May 28, 2019, 7:30 PM

Congregation Beth Elohim
271 Garfield Place
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Michael Pollan joins us at Congregation Beth Elohim to discuss How to Change Your Mind with Burkhard Bilger, a staff writer at The New Yorker. How to Change Your Mind  was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 10 Best Books of 2018. Each ticket includes a signed paperback copy of How to Change Your Mind, which will be available for pickup at the event. Please note that there will not be a signing following the event. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

About How to Change Your Mind
A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs–and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.

A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan’s “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.

Brooklyn By the Book is a collaboration between Community Bookstore and Congregation Beth Elohim.

Michael Pollan is the author of eight books, including How to Change Your MindCookedFood RulesIn Defense of FoodThe Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times bestsellers.  A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he also teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley where he is the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Science Journalism.  In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.

Burkhard Bilger has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2000, where his work has focused on food, science, and American subcultures. His pieces have included portraits of ginseng poachers, deep cave explorers, child bullriders, and a cheese-making nun, and have been anthologized nine times in the Best American series. Bilger's first book, Noodling for Flatheads (Scribner, 2000) was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and he is at work on a book about his grandfather's experiences in WWII to be published by Alfred A. Knopf. Bilger is a Branford Fellow at Yale University.