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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting tales of distant lands; Excellent anthopolgy
This book is an excellent way to introduce anyone to the joys of cultural anthropolgy. It exams various aspects of different cultures in each chapter, thereby making it easy to read as each chapter presents a different culture. Davis is the ultimate story-teller, though his tone is that of science as opposed to the average traveler tales. Unfortauntely, most...
Published on 30 Dec. 1998

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shadows trails behind Wade Davis' other work
Wade davis, ethnobotanist extraordinaire, has set for himself an exceedingly high standard, especially after the publication of One River. I awaited with anticipation my copy of Shadows In The Sun, especially after hearing Wade on NPR. As an interview, he was cogent, compelling, brilliant and witty. Too bad, then, that Shadows In The Sun does not live up either to One...
Published on 24 Nov. 1998


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting tales of distant lands; Excellent anthopolgy, 30 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This book is an excellent way to introduce anyone to the joys of cultural anthropolgy. It exams various aspects of different cultures in each chapter, thereby making it easy to read as each chapter presents a different culture. Davis is the ultimate story-teller, though his tone is that of science as opposed to the average traveler tales. Unfortauntely, most scientists with something to present do not present it in a way that is pleasant to read; Davis is the exception. This book is good reading if you wish to experiance forgein lands; it will remind you of those childhood stories of far of places. This book introduces thoughts on the paradox of the delightful differences yet beautiful unity of lands and their people. It makes the land come alive. Scholars will appreciate this book as informative relaxing reading. It is a fantastic way to introduce a student to the joys of understand people around the world. Children would delighted in most of the stories; the concepts are presented in such a way that even they can grasp the meaning. As a high school student trying to settle on a major which will entice my interest and challege me for the rest of my life, Davis has managed to help me find my quest. Anthropogy opens in this book. The thoughts on the importance of having a land have been abandonned by the philosophical community, so it is good to see a scientist stepping out to remind us that there is something to having a homeland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ for those wishing to be FULLY informed, 14 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
After hearing Wade Davis discuss this book on National Public Radio two weeks ago, curiosity about medicinal plants and the people who discovered them made me get this book (from Amazon.com). A Harvard Ph.D. in ethnobotany, Davis takes us throughout the world to meet spiritual people and their plants. This is not "New Age" hokus-pokus but rather a readibly scholarly and exciting look at how plants made humans what *WE* are. He discusses with many specific examples both the positive and also negative affects which psychotropic plants have on the human brain and perception. He even discusses recent research on a mind altering drug that Davis extracted from the venom of a southwestern United States desert toad. On the light side, he also discusses how the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is trying to hopelessly regulate this toad.
Davis, who in his youth spent several years working as a logging engineer in the Northwestern American logging business, tells the story with facts and figures about what is being done to our irreplacable forests. Indeed, he not only lets us know the truth of how the logging industry and the government lied to us for concealing the actual destruction that they do. Without hysteria or even judging, Davis gives us a glimpse into the very near future which because of the loss to humanity of our great forests, their ancient diverse plant and animal life connected to all human life will soon affect us and our descendents far into the distant future!
"Shadows in the Sun," MUST BE READ by anyone who needs to know what's going on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shadows trails behind Wade Davis' other work, 24 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
Wade davis, ethnobotanist extraordinaire, has set for himself an exceedingly high standard, especially after the publication of One River. I awaited with anticipation my copy of Shadows In The Sun, especially after hearing Wade on NPR. As an interview, he was cogent, compelling, brilliant and witty. Too bad, then, that Shadows In The Sun does not live up either to One River, or to Wade's terrific radio presence. A collection of snippets, Shadows could work, but it drags a bit. And while Davis offers up the kind of compelling descriptions and pithy observations that are his stock in trade, the whole delivery comes off a bit disjointed. Nonetheless, it's thought-provoking and useful. But if you're hoping for the kind of page-turner that Wade davis has put out before, you're in for a let-down. It may be better to follow some of his practical if risky procedure and smoke the venomous scrapings of Bufo alvarius toad. That would certainly be a head-turner. Just a thought...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every teenager in America should read this., 15 May 1999
By A Customer
I read "Shadows" while in Mexico on vacation after hearing his interview on NPR and was delighted with it. Davis shows how it's possible to combine academics, environmentalism, travel and adventure into a life that's so much more interesting than anything shown on TV or in video games. Here's somebody who really went out and got a life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gifted anthropologist, a consummate writer, a rounded view of the most pressing issues faced by humanity today!, 12 Feb. 2013
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His experience, compassion, and gift with words make this a phenomenal read. Cannot be too highly recommended. Go for it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about what's happening in the last wild places, 31 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
I also heard the interview on NPR while driving to work one morning. I immediatedly went on-line to Amazon.com and bought this book. I read it during my last trip through South America, and found it to be fascinating and informative. It gives clear and concise information about the regions Mr. Davis is visiting, and how the indigineous people have lived and are now being detroyed. These are the last wild places, and peoples - from the North of Canada to the Amazon rain forests. His writing makes you feel both the experience, and also ashamed of how Western culture and business are destroying these gems. The only negative I could say about this book is that Mr. Davis sometimes seems a little too eager to tell about how the local herbal concoctions are made and their psychic affects.
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Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire
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