Mike Jay
Author, London

Mike Jay is an author and cultural historian. His latest book is Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic (2019). He lives in London. 

Written by Mike Jay

Smoking opium, San Francisco, 1900. Public domain photograph, author unknown

Essay/
Human rights and justice
What were drugs?

The war on drugs was always a war against an idea. But ideas have a shelf-life, too, and this one has lost its potency

Mike Jay

Luc gives Tonnin Smit a kiss at their home in Geel, Belgium. It is traditional in the town for families like the Smits to take in people who suffer from mental illness. Photo by Gary Porter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Essay/
Public health
The Geel question

For centuries, a little Belgian town has treated the mentally ill. Why are its medieval methods so successful?

Mike Jay

Photo by Johan Warden/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Film and visual culture
The reality show

Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense

Mike Jay