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Publisher's Summary

Every culture is a unique answer to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? In The Wayfinders, renowned anthropologist, winner of the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize, and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis leads us on a thrilling journey to celebrate the wisdom of the world's indigenous cultures.

In Polynesia, we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific 10 centuries before Christ. In the Amazon, we meet the descendants of a true lost civilization, the Peoples of the Anaconda. In the Andes, we discover that the earth really is alive, while in Australia we experience Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. We then travel to Nepal, where we encounter a wisdom hero, a Bodhisattva, who emerges from 45 years of Buddhist retreat and solitude. And, finally, we settle in Borneo, where the last rain forest nomads struggle to survive.

Understanding the lessons of this journey will be our mission for the next century. For at risk is the human legacy - a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalog of the imagination. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed by culture, is among the central challenges of our time.

©2009 Wade Davis (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Wayfinders

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A Shocking Tale Of The Demise Of Humanity

This is an incredible book and if the narration is a little dry, it is worth putting up with. It looks at the cost of human "progress" as more than half of the earth's languages will be shed in the next 2 decades. One is lost every fortnight! It's a well put together tale but lacks a narrative that returns to the "big picture" after it turns to specific case studies. I'd happily learn more if it was available. Highly recommended.

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Great content.

The content is great however I found the narration to be a bit stilted and stiff.

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Powerful

I would recommend this book to anyone who feels trapped by modern culture. Wade Davis shares his survey of the ways of indigenous people all around the world and reveals the depth that the soul is capable of achieving when life is lived in harmony with the earth.

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so much I didn't know!

I absolutely love it. it helps put life in perspective and encourages introspective thought. it's great for a short road trip.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-19

fascinating and profound

have been devouring Wade's work since discovering it. he succinctly champions the importance of the culture, spirituality and way of life of indigenous groups around the world. I hope the world wakes up in time to teach us about true sustainability, before they are lost forever

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  • Max
  • 03-20-21

Interesting but overpromsing

While I enjoyed all the stories, I kind of got the take-away in the last 10 minutes. I wished, the author would have rather spent half the book on answering the question, he posed in the title. It was too implicit and many arguments could be raised against his points. It would have been interesting to read rebuttals by the author.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-14-21

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

I wouldn't go as far as to describe the book as misanthropic but there are undertones of soteriology throughout. This title would have been far more enjoyable if the author didn't incessant drone on about how all societies have value and perhaps we would be better off if we lived like we used to. Davis tries to distance himself from this by suggesting this is not his intent, but nevertheless continues to labour the point at various points throughout the book. The narrative is rich and interesting when Davis describes his experiences of living with itinerant and indigenous people. Some of the values and customs are fascinating and extremely illuminating, highlighting the different philosophical attitudes of people around the world. When the author focuses on ancient wisdom, his work is truly profound, though all too often he seems to lose his way. Despite this I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about our shared journey and history.

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  • Phil A
  • 12-22-18

Great listen!

Very good. Well narrated. Insightful review of genetics and the role scientists believe they play in the development of human society. I wonder... could there be more than just genetics and work?

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  • Reimo Tugi
  • 09-17-18

Further enlightenment for modern truth seekers

Written clear and concise, Davis delivered a collection of stories that inspire and awe someone sitting under artificial lights, chipping away at their paperwork or taking the underground to their workplace. Marvel in the ingenuity and sheer wealth of knowledge he uncovers in the peoples under and suffocated by the West. As a plus, short enough to keep one entertained without a need for a break.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-17-18

An Important book for contemporary issues

Narrator is clear and has a comfortable voice, easy to listen to. An important book today. Ancient wisdom is indeed of need in, we face threats of climate change which our urban and industrial lifestyle will not counteract. Deeper nature knowledge and wisdom is required so that the human race can thrive and survive in line with nature.

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  • Brett Armstrong
  • 02-28-18

Beautiful

I really enjoyed trying to understand the ancient ways of living but cringe at the direction we are currently taking.

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  • J. Frost
  • 06-16-21

A little dry and preachy

This book had some interesting moments. The section on Polynesia was a highlight. The last chapter was a bit negative, degrading the West rather than teasing apart what we could learn from First Nation people.

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  • Andrew
  • 03-17-19

If I could give six stars...

Once again, Mr Davis has produced a well researched and very well thought out book with graphic personal experiences illustrating the very important points so topical in today’s world.