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@Free ì The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombies, and Magic ô eBook or E-pub free

, , , ,, , ,, , .http book review z I have a deep and abiding fear of zombies I spendtime thinking about what to do in the event of a zombie outbreak than is probably good for one s mental health But then I also a good amount of time worrying about giant squid attacks as well, so perhaps my fears aren t the most rational Regardless, some wise person whose name I have long forgotten once said that if you faced you fears you would realize how foolish they were I tried this with sharks once and ended up farafraid than I originally was This is not the case with Serpent and the Rainbow Author Wade Davis is an ethnobotanist from Cambridge who ventures to Haiti after two cases of zombis come to the attention of medical staff on the island Funded by a group of scientists eager to learn the secret potion used to make one appear dead and then miraculously rise again some time later, Davis begins to peel apart the layers of mystique and tradition that serve to create the soul of Haiti, and which once allowed it to be the only country to successfully free itself from slavery in the history of Western domination of the Americas As the answer to the mystery of the zombi reveals itself, Davis gains entry into the secret voudoun societies that serve as the spiritual guides and enforcers of Haitian life.Davis has crafted a fantastically interesting story that combines history, spirituality, and excitement in what can only be described as a real life Indiana Jones adventure I ve been savoring this book for over a month for good cause, it s just that intriguing. @Free ¹ The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombies, and Magic ´ A Scientific Investigation And Personal Adventure Story About Zombis And The Voudoun Culture Of Haiti By A Harvard ScientistIn April , Ethnobotanist Wade Davis Arrived In Haiti To Investigate Two Documented Cases Of Zombis People Who Had Reappeared In Haitian Society Years After They Had Been Officially Declared Dead And Had Been Buried Drawn Into A Netherworld Of Rituals And Celebrations, Davis Penetrated The Vodoun Mystique Deeply Enough To Place Zombification In Its Proper Context Within Vodoun Culture In The Course Of His Investigation, Davis Came To Realize That The Story Of Vodoun Is The History Of Haiti From The African Origins Of Its People To The Successful Haitian Independence Movement, Down To The Present Day, Where Vodoun Culture Is, In Effect, The Government Of Haiti S Countryside The Serpent And The Rainbow Combines Anthropological Investigation With A Remarkable Personal Adventure To Illuminate And Finally Explain A Phenomenon That Has Long Fascinated Americans Wade Davis is a dedicated scientist and a very brave man He dared to venture into deepest Haiti and consort with dangerous characters in his search for the chemical used to change an ordinary person into a mindless non flesh eating zombie Too bad he s not acompelling storyteller He misses almost every opportunity to build suspense I know his aim was to strip away the mystery surrounding his subject, but a little atmosphere wouldn t have hurt This is the stuff of legends after all.Davis provides detailed descriptions of the poisons that can bring about a death like trance Macbeth s witches would have cackled with delight at some of these formulas ground millipeds and tarantulas are mixed with plant productsa snake and a toad were buried together in a jar until they died from rage Throw in a little toxic puffer fish, and you re on your way to creating the perfect zombie.There was a fascinating chapter on slave uprisings during the 1700s where many slave owners were mysteriously poisoned Davis also talks in great detail about Zora Neale Hurston s Tell My Horse Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica, in which she recounts her experiences participating in vodoo practices From his description, I can t help wondering if maybe Hurston s is not the better book on the subject. After graduating from Shimer College, my youngest stepbrother, Erik Badger, sponsored by an undergraduate mentor long active in Haiti, went to the island to work on education projects The first step in the process was total immersion in the culture in order to learn, among other things, Creole He was deposited, alone, in a village where no one spoke English and lived there for several months It worked and he worked in Haiti for several years, educating educators offering classes to the mostly rural poor in their native language a rather radical idea in a land where instruction has traditionally been conducted in French, a language foreign to almost everyone.During his years in Haiti, Erik would stay with me in Chicago when on break When the project ended, he moved in, staying for several years during the course of which I became introduced to many persons from the island and endeavored on my own to read up on what he d been involved in Wade Davis book, upon which the movie of the same name was very loosely based, was one of the works so pursued.It was also probably the most fun It s probably impossible to grow up in the States and not know about voodoo and zombies, at least from cinema Davis effort was to account for the practice with particular regard to the creation of persons who believe themselves zombies His explanations include the use of psychotropic drugs and some very pecular mindsets and settings The story as he tells it reads like a mystery The science and the anthropology come across in the story painlessly It is an easy and intriguingly fascinating tale.It is not, however, a balanced view of modern Haiti Most Haitians have muchpractical things than voodoo to concern themselves with This book is best read after studying something of the culture and its history in order to be able to contextualize what is really a rather marginal subcultural current. , , ,, Everything you think you know about voodoo is probably wrong Voodoo dolls were never part of the religion, and zombies are not the living dead Voodoo simply means god or spirit in the Dahomey language The beliefs and practices are every bit as logical as those of any other religion when viewed as a means of providing social structure and maintaining order in the community. Too bad they made this wonderful book into a horror flick The book is about a Harvard trained ethnobotanist who goes to Haiti to learn about some of the naturally occuring compounds used in the voudoun culture The hope is that some of the active compounds may provide a safer alternative to general anaesthesia What I found remarkable about the book was Wade Davis ability to embrace and respect the voudoun culture and it is a culture in the full sense of the word without making western value judgements and assumptions about it It is only through his understanding of the culture that he is able to learn what he came to find out I don t want to include any spoilers here about the specific drugs or their effects, but I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in anthropology and or biology. Just got reminded that I ve read this book, and never spoken about it.Tetrodotoxin it s a word to live and die by But is it death, if you comeback as a zombie.Read this book and find out It s a classic if you would like to knowabout Voudoun and Haitian culture Note this is not the movie by Wes Craven this is the real stuff. Pool read, zombied out and slathered in Coppertone Can t remember much else about it.