Moving between radically disparate worlds is the modus operandi for journalist, author, and independent scholar Douglas Wissing. But the true work comes in the telling: in the weaving of a complex narrative steeped in the spirit of far-flung places; a story that radiates the intense experience of going there and listening. Educated as a historian and political scientist, Wissing has scrambled over avalanche-choked passes in bandit-ridden corners of Tibet to speak with the reincarnation of a valuable source. He’s gained insight into Washington insiders, Hong Kong Communist plutocrats, extreme body modifiers, modern medieval armorers and Belgian Trappist brewers who craft the world’s rarest beer. He’s listened to the lives of Vietnamese Impressionist painters, maverick mycologists, and Cuban internationalists. His thought-provoking writing and meticulous research have resulted in eight books and landed his unique perspective in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, salon.com, and on BBC and NPR networks, as well as in tastemaker journals from ARTnews to Saveur. His award-winning work on Afghanistan has attracted wide attention among U.S. policy-makers, including his influential "Funding the Enemy: How US Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban" and his recently published "Hopeless but Optimistic: Journeying through America’s Endless War in Afghanistan."