As an anthropologist, my curiosity about the world and the human condition compels me to explore and write about all manner of topics that capture my imagination. Over the years I’ve written books, authored articles in publications like Smithsonian, Outside, and Salon, contributed radio commentary and written and co-produced a feature documentary. My editorial forays make me a better writer and give me a keen nose for a great story. I’m always game for the next assignment...


Humans think in stories, and we try to make sense of the world by telling stories.”


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exploring why we play

A question asked by my (then young) sports-loving son — “Why do we play ball?” — set me off on a worldwide adventure to the farthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancient past to find the answer. The result was a book, The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game. From Mexican jungles to the small-town gridirons of Ohio, The Ball explores the little-known origins of our favorite sports, and traces how a simple invention like the ball has come to stake an unrivaled claim on our passions, our money, and our lives.



The book inspired a collaboration on a feature documentary, Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play. The film, directed by Jerome Thelia, premiered at SXSW and has since appeared in more than twenty film festivals around the world. Watch it on YouTube, Amazon, and Google Play.

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watch the trailer

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