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Beneath the Surface of Things

New and Selected Essays

Regular price $36.95 CAD
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  • ISBN: 9781778400445
  • Tags: All Books, Essay Collections, History, Political Science, Wade Davis,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 4/30/2024
  • 256 Pages

“Wade Davis is a true wayfinder, and these essays offer new insight into his visionary approach to culture, landscape, and the planet he loves as fiercely as any writer working today.”—John Vaillant, author of Fire Weather

A timely and eclectic collection from one of the foremost thinkers of our time, “a powerful, penetrating and immensely knowledgeable writer” (The Guardian).

The essays in this collection came about during the unhurried months when one who had traveled incessantly was obliged to stay still, even as events flared on all sides in a world that never stops moving. Wade Davis brings his unique cultural perspective to such varied topics as the demonization of coca, the sacred plant of the Inca; the Great War and the birth of modernity; the British conquest of Everest; the endless conflict in the Middle East; reaching beyond climate fear and trepidation; on the meaning of the sacred. His essay, “The Unraveling of America,” first published in Rolling Stone, attracted five million readers and generated 362 million social media impressions. Media interest in the story was sustained over many weeks, with interview requests coming in from 23 countries.

The anthropological lens, as Davis demonstrates, reveals what lies beneath the surface of things, allowing us to see, and to seek, the wisdom of the middle way, a perspective of promise and hope that all of the essays in this collection aspire to convey.

Wade Davis has a gift for saying the unsayable. He’s a fearless explorer in the intellectual world, as in the physical. His refusal to embrace conventional wisdom on climate change, for example, and instead think through the issue for himself, is a model of independent thinking. Even when I disagree with Wade, as with some of his bleak comments about the United States, I’m grateful for his voice. We usually live on the surface of ideas when we talk about issues such as war and racism; Wade takes us far deeper.”—David Ignatius, columnist and associate editor, Washington Post

Wade Davis is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and was Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013. His 23 books, published in 22 languages, include One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the top nonfiction prize in the English language. He lives on Bowen Island, B.C.