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Reid, Howard

Reid, Howard

PERSONAL:

Education: Cambridge University, Ph.D.

CAREER:

Filmmaker, anthropologist, and writer.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

(With Michael Croucher) The Fighting Arts: Great Masters of the Martial Arts, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Michael Croucher) The Way of the Warrior, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1987.

(With others) The Way of Harmony: A Guide to the Soft Martial Arts, photography by Fausto Dorelli, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1988.

(With others) The Way of Harmony: A Guide to Self-knowledge through the Arts of T'ai Chi Chuan, Hsing I, Pa Kua, and Chi Kung, photography by Fausto Dorelli, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Michael Croucher) The Way of the Warrior: The Paradox of the Martial Arts, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 1991.

(With others) The Book of Soft Martial Arts: Finding Personal Harmony with Chi Kung, Hsing I, Pa Kua, and T'ai Chi, photography by Fausto Dorelli, Weatherhill (New York, NY), 1998.

In Search of the Immortals: Mummies, Death, and the Afterlife, Headline (London, England), 1999, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Arthur, the Dragon King: The Barbaric Roots of Britain's Greatest Legend, Headline (London, England), 2001.

Dad's War, Bantam (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Justin Pollard) The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind, Viking (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Howard Reid is an anthropologist, documentary filmmaker, and writer with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. In his role as a filmmaker, Reid lived with the Tuareg for several months, a predominantly nomadic society in the African Sahara. Also, before completing his Ph.D., he lived in the Amazon Basin for two years with a society of hunter-gatherers.

In his book In Search of the Immortals: Mummies, Death, and the Afterlife, Reid covers the burial rites, mummification practices, and various concepts of the afterlife among several ancient cultures, including peoples in the Taklimakan desert region of western China, Kazakh nomads of southwestern Siberia, the Chinchorros of Peru, peoples of the peat bogs of northern Europe, and, of course, Egyptians. A contributor to Publishers Weekly believed that "this vivid, sympathetic account of the world's mummy-making cultures contributes much to the mummy trade." Julia Glynn, writing in Booklist, called the book "a wonderful educational journey." Calling Reid's writing style "engaging" in a Library Journal review, Joan W. Gartland concluded that In Search of the Immortals "should appeal widely to lay readers."

Reid wrote The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind with screenwriter and historian Justin Pollard. Virtually every aspect Alexandria is detailed in the book, from its inception by Alexander the Great through its several destruction attempts. Known for its library and the Pharos lighthouse, Alexandria is described through its notable people and the earth-shaping events that happened there. Writing again in the Library Journal, Gartland stated: "An ambitious undertaking, colorfully written, this book includes a massive amount of material without footnotes, but it has a good bibliography." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews pointed out that the book "is not a light read" but conceded that "a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes skullduggery keeps this work lively." Gilbert Taylor felt that the authors "write accessibly, not stuffily," in his Booklist review. Taylor concluded: "Classical history buffs will savor this survey."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 15, 1982, review of The Fighting Arts: Great Masters of the Martial Arts, p. 322; August, 2001, Julia Glynn, review of In Search of the Immortals: Mummies, Death, and the Afterlife, p. 2062; October 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind, p. 23.

Books Magazine, spring, 2001, review of Arthur, the Dragon King: The Barbaric Roots of Britain's Greatest Legend, p. 21.

Choice, January, 1984, review of The Fighting Arts, p. 736.

History Today, May, 2003, review of Dad's War, p. 84.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2001, review of In Search of the Immortals, p. 849; August 1, 2006, review of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, p. 771.

Kliatt, winter, 1984, review of The Fighting Arts, p. 54.

Library Journal, May 15, 1992, J. Sara Paulk, review of The Way of the Warrior, p. 97; May 1, 1996, review of The Way of the Warrior, p. 50; August, 2001, Joan W. Gartland, review of In Search of the Immortals, p. 132; October 1, 2006, Joan W. Gartland, review of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, p. 90.

Observer (London, England), March 11, 2001, review of Arthur, the Dragon King, p. 19.

Publishers Weekly, July 9, 2001, review of In Search of the Immortals, p. 59; July 31, 2006, review of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, p. 65.

School Library Journal, January, 1984, review of The Fighting Arts, p. 93.

Times Educational Supplement, April 13, 1984, review of The Way of the Warrior, p. 31.

Times Literary Supplement, December 3, 1999, Norman Hammond, review of In Search of the Immortals, p. 32; July 18, 2003, E.S. Turner, review of Dad's War, p. 26.

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