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The Amazon: Past, Present, and Future Paperback – March 30, 1992

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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Product Details

  • Series: Discoveries (Harry Abrams)
  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Trade Paperback Edition edition (March 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810928604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810928602
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,419,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Roger Harris on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to the Amazon's tortured past and offers some insight into the region's prospects. What really sets it apart are the illustrations, many from early manuscripts. Reproduced woodcuts and watercolors give the reader a genuine feel for how the conquistadors and early explorers perceived the Amazon's people and wildlife. The book progresses logically, from initial forays looking for El Dorado and cinnamon forests to the explorer-scientists, in a sweeping historical vista. Gheerbrant's account of the rubber boom is especially poignant, and the reader becomes utterly outraged at the shamelessly inhumane treatment of local tribes by greedy industrialists. The book's reproduced photographs from this era drive home the untrammeled brutality of the rubber barons in their urge to acquire riches at any cost to the indigenous people. The author's observations of the Amazon's current status (the "Present") seem somewhat outdated, as the area is changing fast and there is not much on conservation efforts or scientific research (although other books cater). The "Documents" section added as a sort of appendix offer some interesting facts, but seem collected together on a rather ad-hoc basis. However, the chronology and bibliography are commendable. Generally well-written, in places the text seems a bit convoluted and may frustrate readers used to a snappier style. Perhaps something happened in the translation. In summary, I recommend this book for its illustrations, and overall historical perspective.
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