The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New
Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing
for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells
the full, astonishing story.
Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was
ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he’d been killed
and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose
complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and
ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the
story, and Michael’s death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts
lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and
intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told—until now.
Retracing Rockefeller’s steps, award-winning journalist Carl
Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of
headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know
generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he uncovered
never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak
publically after fifty years.
In Savage Harvest 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. Combining history,
art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a
mesmerizing whodunit and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two
civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America’s richest and most powerful
scions. Download and start listening now!