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Jungle Ways Paperback – May 26, 2017
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About the Author
William Buehler Seabrook was an American adventurer, explorer, world traveler and journalist whose interest in the occult led him across the globe where he studied magic rituals, trained as a witch doctor and famously ate human flesh, likening it to veal. Despite his studious accounts of magical practices, he insisted he had seen nothing which could not be explained rationally. He was born in Westminster, Maryland on February 22, 1884. He began his career as a reporter and City Editor of the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia and was later a reporter for The New York Times. He wrote books based on his adventures. He wrote books about witchcraft, Voodoo and Haiti. He is credited with introducing the word “Zombie” into the English Language. His first book covering these topics was William Seabrook's The Magic Island (1929). He died by suicide on September 20, 1945. His book on witchcraft is notable for its focus on an arch-occultist who stayed at Seabrook's home for a short time. Witchcraft is not demonic. It is a specific real and dangerous force, evil when used for evil, mysterious in some of its manifestations, but always analyzable and always understandable within the bounds of reason and combatable in consequence like crime, snake bite, insanity and yellow fever. In 1929, his first travelogue was released that, through the chain reaction it set off, has had a profound effect on American popular culture and by extension the American collective consciousness. Although it was written by a fellow with a questionable resume of personal traits said to include alcoholism, occultism, sensory deprivation, and sadism, plus a stay in mental hospitals, who would ultimately commit suicide by pill-overdose, it became popular and profoundly influenced popular culture. His is not a household name, yet it is through the continued fascinated invocation of Zombie! Zombie!! Zombie!!! that we unknowingly evoke his legacy. This book recounts the adventures and emotional experiences of Mr. Seabrook who spent many months living among the natives. He found among the millions of blacks who dwell in electric-lighted towns, jungle-covered mountains, dark valleys, an emotional wisdom that we, and perhaps the whole civilized world, have lost. He found a people who know that life itself is a beautiful and terrifying adventure.