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Savage harvest : a tale of cannibals, colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's tragic quest for primitive art

Author: Carl Hoffman
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Retracing Rockefeller's steps, journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea to solve a decades-old mystery and illuminate a culture transformed by years of colonial rule.
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Named Person: Michael Clark Rockefeller; Michael Clark Rockefeller; Carl Hoffman; Michael Clark Rockefeller; Carl Hoffman
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Carl Hoffman
ISBN: 0062116150 9780062116154 0062325310 9780062325310
OCLC Number: 850180493
Notes: Map on lining papers.
Description: x, 322 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Contents: Part I. November 19, 1961 --
November 20, 1961 --
February 2012 --
February 20, 1957 --
December 1957 --
February 2012 --
December 1957 --
February 2012 --
February 1958 --
March 1958 --
Part II. March 1961 --
March 2012 --
September 1961 --
February 2012 --
November 1961 --
November 1961 --
November 1961 --
November 1961 --
November 1961 --
December 1961 --
March 2012 --
January, February, and March 1962 --
Part III. November 2012 --
November 2012 --
December 2012.
Other Titles: Michael Rockefeller's tragic quest for primitive art
Responsibility: Carl Hoffman.

Abstract:

Retracing Rockefeller's steps, journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea to solve a decades-old mystery and illuminate a culture transformed by years of colonial rule.

The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in remote New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world, and even Michael's powerful, influential family, guessing for years. Now, the author, a journalist has uncovered startling new evidence that tells the full, astonishing story. On November 21, 1961, Michael C. Rockefeller, the twenty-three-year-old son of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, vanished off the coast of southwest New Guinea when his catamaran capsized while crossing a turbulent river mouth. He was on an expedition to collect art for the Museum of Primitive Art, which his father had founded in 1957, and his expedition partner, who stayed with the boat and was later rescued, shared Michael's final words as he swam for help: "I think I can make it." Despite exhaustive searches by air, ground, and sea, no trace of Michael was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he had made it to shore, where he was then killed and eaten by the local Asmat, a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, headhunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family vehemently denied the story, and Michael's death was officially ruled a drowning. While the cause of death was accepted publicly, doubts lingered and sensational stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told, until now. Retracing Michael's steps, the author traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of former headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he has uncovered hundreds of pages of never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak publicly for the first time in fifty years. In this book he finally solves this decades-old mystery and illuminates a culture transformed by years of colonial rule, whose people continue to be shaped by ancient customs and lore. This is a portrait of the clash of two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America's richest and most powerful scions. -- From book jacket.

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"[Hoffman's] reporting takes hold, drawing a vivid portrait of the world of the Asmat people, hunter-gatherers who lived in isolation until the mid-20th century. Gripping." -- New York Times Book Read more...

 
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