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Digging for the Truth: One Man's Epic Adventure Exploring the World's Greatest Archaeological Mysteries Hardcover – November 23, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

TV show host and first-time author Bernstein is a real-life Indiana Jones: rugged, stubbled, khakied and capped with a familiar-looking hat ("It's not a fedora"), he might look silly if he didn't have the chops to back it up. Fortunately, he does: CEO of an outdoor survival school, Bernstein also has anthropology and psychology degrees from Cornell, as well as a lifelong love for the wilderness. It all combines to crowd-pleasing effect in this passionate volume, a companion to his popular History Channel series of the same name. After a brief autobiography, chapters describe how episodes were filmed in locations like Ethiopia, Italy and Austria, Egypt, Peru and Easter Island. Along the way the explorer rappels down Alpine cliffs, dives into mysterious Mayan cenotes and, yes, even searches for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, joined by colorful local experts like prickly Egyptian archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass. Illustrated with full-color location and crew photos, chapters also include interesting side bar lessons on wilderness survival-how to start a fire and put together an explorer's med kit among them. Bernstein glosses over neither dangers nor consequences, and it's clear throughout that he loves his job and knows how lucky he is to have it (despite the nightmare travel schedule and severe parasitic infections), making this an exciting, addicting read for fans of the show, present and future.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Digging for the Truth is not a traditional archaeology show—it’s the very best in armchair adventure. Bernstein inspires his viewers, taking them on a hands-on journey into the past. -- Success Magazine

The best thing for archaeology’s image since Harrison Ford cocked his hat and starred in Raiders of the Lost Ark. -- The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Mti edition (November 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592402771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592402779
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Waldbillig on November 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found when I received this book yesterday I could not put it down. It is well written, the pictures are very good. After having watched the series it helps to fill in the background. I found the information about what Josh carries, clothes, etc. to be interesting. It seemed as though it was more of a conversation with you than "just facts in a book". I would hope that many would read this book. It will make the new series in January come more alive as I shall be curious to see where the adventure leads. It would be my hope that Josh will write more about his adventures, especially the back stories. Again, great job!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Justin Donie on December 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed Josh's show, "Digging for the Truth", since it first aired on the History Channel, so when I found he'd written a book about his adventures, I was excited to read it.

In addition to providing some personal background about the host of the show, the book gives us some insight into what it's like to be the host of a highly successful TV program that just happens to require that each episode be filmed in an exotic and often far flung location. His shooting and travel schedule is ... well ... crazy. Josh thinks he has the greatest job in the world, and it shows when you watch him in action and read his thoughts about his adventures. But personally, I'm glad HE is the one running him self ragged to make these wonderful shows and all I have to do is watch them. :)

Josh gives us a nice blend in this book of a) "technical" insights into some of his favorite episodes, b) a glimpse into what he personally experienced while creating them, c) some fun photos and anecdotes of his life on the road, d) a closer view of some of the other personalities we see both on camera and those behind the scenes and e) enjoyable reflections on what creating this show means to him personally.

All in all, it's a very enjoyable read. My only disappointment was that it wasn't longer. :) I'll look forward to a follow up.

Great job, Josh ... keep it up. Though I'd suggest you take a break first.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stacy ~ on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Josh Bernstein brings his own brand of humor and knowledge to this fun, interesting and hectic portrayal behind the scenes of this top-rated t.v. show of the same name. At times he ends up in dangerous situations, and you're not quite sure how he does it, but the telling of it will keep readers caught up in each adventure. He also uses the head on his shoulders, not putting himself unnecessarily into the path of danger, but thinking through his decisions and using his own curiosity to guide him.(He also runs himself pretty ragged, so I hope the poor guy will get some rest)!

The recaps are told in simple yet captivating passages, and readers with a taste for travel and exploration will feel almost like they are right there alongside him. I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more. There were moments that were poignant, and others that were sweet and funny. Josh has a way with words. He also has a deep appreciation of the earth and a strong respect for the people who live on it, no matter what culture or belief system they hold dear. It's something we could all learn from.

This would no doubt make a wonderful gift for several people on your list.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a great fan of the History Channel - as a history professor, that should be no surprise. I am also a great fan of adventure stories, having been captivated by characters such as Indiana Jones decades ago, who showed that to be an adventurer did not mean checking one's mind at the door. In many ways, Josh Bernstein has become a real-life Indiana Jones figure for today, and most importantly for the younger people today, who can see that history need not be the exclusive province of dry, dusty tomes on bookshelves of fluorescent-lighting libraries. Indeed, Bernstein mentions that at different times in his life he has been tempted, ever so briefly, to that scholarly type of life, but was always dissuaded (with the encouragement of rabbis, co-workers, and friends).

This book is a companion to the first seasons of the very popular series on the History Channel of the same name, `Digging for the Truth'. This is not a verbatim transcript, although it does cover many of the important highlights of the shows. This is a combination of a behind-the-scenes travelogue and autobiographical reflection by Bernstein, who, with his hats Henry I-V (there may yet be more - it actually conjures up the song `I'm Henry the Eighth, I am...' to think of his progression of hats - not a fedora, by the way!) has traveled through the world and through life with aplomb, wit, and an adventurous inquisitiveness that makes for exciting viewing and reading.

As a background to a show that explores the background of history and society, this is a wonderful book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christina on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you have ever wondered what it's like to work on the production of an international adventure archaeology show, this is your chance. And let me tell you, this job ain't for sissies.

Author and host Josh Bernstein takes up (deep) behind the scenes of the making of the History Channel's hit show, Digging for the Truth, and it's as close to being there as you can get without actually hopping a flight with him and his crew. He describes the high (and sometimes very low) points of the making of various episodes throughout the show's first two seasons, which took about 18 months in total to film.

Josh tells it like it is, and makes you feel what it was like to experience the extreme fatigue, illnesses, humor, excitement, and rigors of making the show. He's hilariously funny at times, and his writing is very conversational and easy to follow; he hooks you in from page one. Evident through it all is that Josh loves his job very much, and has a profound respect for the subjects of his adventures. He also apparently loves his fans a lot to keep up this kind of schedule!

There's also a chapter on his background that will really give you a new respect for this amazing man, and you will be a fan after you read the book even if you weren't before you started. My only complaint is that the book isn't longer, but maybe he will write another one someday!
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