Carl Hoffman

Carl Hoffman is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and the author of SAVAGE HARVEST: A TALE OF CANNIBALS, COLONIALISM AND MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER'S TRAGIC QUEST FOR PRIMITIVE ART and THE LUNATIC EXPRESS: DISCOVERING THE WORLD VIA ITS MOST DANGEROUS BUSES, BOATS, TRAINS, AND PLANES. LUNATIC EXPRESS was named one of the ten best books of 2010 by the Wall Street Journal and was a New York Times summer reading pick.

Hoffman has won four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation and two North American Travel Journalism Awards.

A former contributing editor for Wired, Hoffman has traveled to more than 70 countries on assignment for Outside, Smithsonian, National Geographic Adventure, ESPN The Magazine, Wired, Men's Journal, Popular Mechanics and many other publications. He is a native of Washington, D. C. and the father of three.

Watch the trailer for Carl's upcoming book, THE LAST WILD MEN OF BORNEO, out from William Morrow on March 6, 2018:


Hunting Warbirds: The Obsessive Quest for the Lost Aircraft of WWII

Selection of the History Book Club

Selection of the Military Book Club

"Engaging.... A gripping story." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An incredible tale of triumph and tragedy...filled with great anecdotes and a cast of real-life characters that rival those in any novel." - Pacific Flyer

The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes

Richard Bangs, Producer/Host of the Public Television series Adventures with Purpose: "Carl Hoffman has reinvented the travel log as the supreme theater of paradox. At its most successful, his travels are a search for an unholy grail-something freakish; something dangerous; something authentic. . . The miracle of LUNATIC EXPRESS is that it eludes sociological and psychological pigeonholing, and defends travel as a way of being fully human."

Wall Street Journal: "A wise and clever book, funny, warm and filled with astonishing characters. But it also represents an important exercise, casting an Argus-eye on a largely invisible but un-ignorable world. It is thus a book that deserves to be read widely."

New York Times Armchair Traveler: "Anyone who has ever griped about freeway traffic or being elbowed on the subway should spend some time with Carl Hoffman's book. I'm glad he made it back in one piece to write this tribute to the millions who every day endure what most of us don't care to imagine."

Publishers Weekly: "Fascinating . . . unforgettable."

Popular Mechanics: "THE LUNATIC EXPRESS transcends its masochistic premise to reward readers with an adventurous, humorous, insightful and improbably inspiring narrative."

New York Times Book Review: "Hoffman gathers insights into the fortitude of third-world travelers, his own competing yearnings for domestic stability and adventure, and the brutal economics of mass transportation in impoverished parts of the globe."

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller

An Indie Next Pick

A Publishers Weekly Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2014 Selection

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

"The famous American journalist Carl Hoffmann sets out to discover [the true story] fifty years after the fact ... The in-depth excavation also analyses the clash between the most privileged and the most marginalized of cultures... What was [Rockefeller] looking for? He wanted impress his father; to combat an existential emptiness; to break from his superficial world, rid himself of his famous name and say 'here is who I am'. All these things or none: Carl Hoffmann reminds us that the most fascinating lives are the most solitary ones. They are quests." - Le Journal du Dimanche

"An expertly told tale that is begging for a film adaptation. . . . Hoffman crafts a remarkable, balanced examination of this sensational case. While the truth of Rockefeller's disappearance may never be known, Hoffman deserves much credit for this riveting, multilayered tale." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A bare-knuckle, adventure-filled journey . . . In a daring ethnographic turn, Hoffman spent months among the descendants of killers, lending specific weight to the old clashing-of-worlds trope and addressing questions of why people go to war, commit cannibalism and other tangled matters. . . . A searching, discomfiting journey yields an elegant, memorable report." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"By dint of grueling fieldwork, startling archival discoveries, revelatory visits with a Dutch missionary relieved to break his 50-year silence, profound insights, and muscular writing, Hoffman tells the unforgettable story of a soothing and politically expedient cover-up and a brutal and tragic collision of cultures." - Booklist (starred review)

Check out the awesome trailer for SAVAGE HARVEST here: