Giles Slade

Recovering academic writer

In 1994, Giles Slade completed a vicious and protracted doctorate in cultural history, and now describes himself a ‘recovering academic writer.’ Fortunately, he had early training as a reporter, and later worked as a staff writer of action adventure novels for Harlequin Enterprises once describing that job as ‘the most fun you could have with your pants on.’ His favorite prose stylists include Alain de Boton, Garrison Keillor, Mark Kurlansky, William Langewiesche, and Elizabeth Royte.

After 1995, Slade began a series of high-paying contract positions in colleges and universities throughout Asia and the Persian Gulf. In August 2001, he accepted a job as lecturer in American Culture at the ‘Mahad Islamee’ [Islamic Institute] in Abu Dhabi Emirate, but then resigned the position in the chaotic and hostile weeks following 9/11.

It was the culture shock he experienced upon his return to North America in early 2002 that led him to begin the research for Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America, (Harvard University Press, 2006) winner of last year’s IPPY gold medal for best environmental book.

Slade blogs for HuffPo from his island home near Vancouver, British Columbia.