One River: Explorations and discoveries in the Amazon rain forest

By Wade Davis

1997 Touchstone Press, New York


"To understand his affection for Richard Spruce, a humble Yorkshire botanist of the nineteenth century, one must accept the possibility that the seed of one generation can be born in the next and that the spirit of one long dead can reach across time not merely to inspire but to mold the dreams of another." P.373-4


When I first read Wade Davis I thought he was far too good a writer to be a scholar. I have since revised my opinion. Perhaps it was the almost surreal quality of the narrative. Perhaps it was the credance he gives to the magical nature of the shamman and his vast array of mystical plants. I'm not sure, but at first I wasn't comfortable with accepting the scholarship of something that read more like a cross between an Amelia Peabody mystery (which I enjoy greatly) and Doors of Perception.

Davis Chronicles the work of Dr. Richard Schultes, Harvard Ethnobotonist of remarkable stature.