Beneath the Surface of Things: New and Selected Essays (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


COVID put hard brakes on Davis’s far-flung travels and writing focused on anthropology and cultural themes. While confined, his sharp eye found obscured aspects of familiar historical stories and contemporary issues. The result is succinct, piercing thought-pieces on subjects as disparate as South American cultures' coca rituals, widely practiced daily for 500+ years; Jerusalem’s 2000+ years role as a sacred site for Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and an unusual look at WWI. His essay about climate fear is a welcome alternative to daily doom stories. Great writing about interesting subjects!

— Kay Wosewick

Description



"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



Product Details
ISBN: 9781778400445
ISBN-10: 1778400442
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 264
Language: English