Charles Foster is an English writer, a traveler, a veterinarian, a taxidermist, a barrister, and a philosopher. Like my previous guest Steven Kotler, he believes in getting deep into subjects in a very immersive and experiential way. In his earlier book called Being a Beast, Charles shares his experiences of trying to live as an otter, a badger, a stagg, a fox and other animals and birds, all in order to better understand what being a wild animal is really like. His latest book is called Being a Human, where he and his 13-year-old son live in the wilderness as Paleolithic hunter gatherers to really understand what it means to be human.

Charles rolls up his sleeves and puts himself into the shoes of our ancestors going back many thousands of years. And when asked why he bothers to drag himself and his children off into caves, he answers as follows: because I don’t trust books, and you get a wholly different kind of knowledge by doing and feeling things. So this is a man trying to be a better human, a better father, a better son, a better husband, a man who dives deep into a subject in order to enhance his understanding of arguably the most important topic that faces us all. He’s a traveler through time and space. Being a Human is a travel book, essentially, about traveling across generations, and Charles’s curiosity is infectious.

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