It really would be more fair of me to give this book three and a half stars, but it doesn't work that way so I'll leave it at four. Anyway, I must admit that I am of two different mind concerning this book. Harner, who has indeed studied Shamanism amongst various indigenous peoples such as the Jivaro of Ecuador, certainly does know his stuff. I will grant him that. However, in this book he strips it down to it's core, removing many of the cultural trappings, in order to take the reader into the world of the Shaman. This is not a book about Siberian, Native American, Aboriginal, African, Voudon or any other form of Shamanism. Instead, it focuses on Harner's "Core Shamanism" and even attempts to instruct the reader on how to become a Shaman. This presents some serious questions for us. First of all, is this cultural piracy? Shamanism is an old tradition, and can be found among many traditions. No one people, however, have a monopoly on Shamanism. After all, the Shamanic traditions of, say, the Yakuts, Chuckchi and Buryat are just as ancient and valid of those of the Pygmies, Bushmen or Yanomami. Harner seems to be very aware of this and tries not to attach his Shamanic tradition to that of any one particular culture. And certainly more recent traditions do draw from Shamanic background. Voudon and Santeria, as well as certain movements amongst the Native Americans and Australian Aborigines illustrate this. Why shouldn't westerners find a tradition that is acceptable to them? In the end, the reader needs to come to his own conclusions on these issues before he reads through this book. After all, it is a book instructing the reader in Harner's Core Shamanism. I certainly would recommend it to people with an interest in Shamanism and/or Neo-Shamanism, whether from an anthropologic perspective or from a "New Age" perspective. Others, however, might be disappointed or even offended in this book. It all depends on your views I suppose. The best I can say is buyer beware.