Synopses & Reviews
In 1982, Harvard-trained ethnobotanist Wade Davis traveled into the Haitian countryside to research reports of zombies the infamous living dead of Haitian folklore. A report by a team of physicians of a verifiable case of zombification led him to try to obtain the poison associated with the process and examine it for potential medical use.
Interdisciplinary in nature, this study reveals a network of power relations reaching all levels of Haitian political life. It sheds light on recent Haitian political history, including the meteoric rise under Duvalier of the Tonton Macoute. By explaining zombification as a rational process within the context of traditional Vodoun society, Davis demystifies one of the most exploited of folk beliefs, one that has been used to denigrate an entire people and their religion.
"[A] fascinating work....[Davis] presents an extensive analysis of the chemical composition of various poisons reputed to induce a physiological state that could simulate death." Library Journal
[A] fascinating book.
Davis manages to demystify the concepts 'voodoo' and 'zombie.'
New York Times Book Review [A] fascinating book.
American Scientist A remarkable journey into the natural and supernatural world of the zombie.
Brittonia Moves far beyond formula or sensationalism and directly confronts the 'why' of the zombie phenomenon.
Western Folklore Davis offers the only firsthand account of the structure and functions of clandestine Bizango societies.
About the Author
Wade Davis has studied the zombie phenomenon extensively. He is author of The Serpent and the Rainbow, a chronicle of his experiences in Haiti while trying to locate the zombie poison.