We've been meeting bears in the wilderness, and in our dreams, since the dawn of human history. Celebrated in art and myth since we began drawing on the walls of caves, they cast a long shadow over our collective subconscious. Wherever bears endure, they are an indicator of the health of their ecosystem. Their decline-some to the edge of extinction-foretells a bigger story: that of our planet's peril. In a series of remarkable journeys, Brian Payton travels the world in search of the eight remaining bear species. Along the way, he confronts poachers in the jungles of Cambodia, witnesses the cruelty of the bear bile trade in China, and delves into the politics of panda sex. From the reclusive spectacled bears of Peru to the man-eating sloth bears of India, Payton captures the power and beauty of these fascinating creatures while exploring their unique place within very different cultures. Vivid characters, exotic landscapes, and deft storytelling make for an unforgettable trek down the braided path of bear and human history.