Author Wade Davis

Wade Davis

An acclaimed ethnographer, photographer, filmmaker, and writer, Wade Davis is widely considered one of the foremost thinkers of our time. In his new collection of essays, Beneath The Surface of Things, 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; and reaching beyond climate fear and trepidation.

The collection includes his essay, “The Unraveling of America,” first published in Rolling Stone during the pandemic. It attracted five million readers and generated 362 million social media impressions.

Davis’ 22 books include One River, The Wayfinders, and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize, the top nonfiction prize in the English language.  His film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for National Geographic. In his newly revised and updated treatise River Notes: Drought and the Twilight of the American West, Davis tells the story of America’s Nile: how it once flowed freely and how human intervention has left it near exhaustion, altering the water temperature, volume, and local species.

Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. He is currently a professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

“Wade Davis has a gift for saying the unsayable. He’s a fearless explorer in the intellectual and physical worlds. His refusal to embrace conventional wisdom on climate change, for example, and instead think through the issue 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 discussing issues such as war and racism; Wade takes us far deeper.”

― David Ignatius, Washington Post

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