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The Last New World: The Conquest of the Amazon Frontier Hardcover – June, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As Newsweek correspondent in Rio de Janeiro, Margolis has traveled widely in Amazonia, interviewing settlers, scientists and officials. Here he argues that social and economic issues as well as ecological issues deserve attention. He writes with sympathy about latter-day pioneers who have survived the hostile tropical environment without technical aid and amid a surfeit of bureaucracy. Margolis compares the opening of the Amazon frontier to the opening of those in the U.S., Siberia and Australia--in each case, nature was a force to be dominated and harnessed for social ends. There are familiar stories of degradation--the gold-mining towns, failed cattle ranches--but Margolis also reports on innovative approaches to agriculture. A Japanese colony has turned to agroforestry, other farmers are growing tropical fruit instead of coffee; a Brazilian agronomist uses the kudzu vine as a forage crop for cattle in Acre's ravaged pastures, and some groups are working on reforestation. Readers concerned about the rain forests will find a small ray of hope here. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A Newsweek correspondent in Rio de Janeiro, Margolis is the latest of numerous authors to tackle the many dramas currently unfolding in the Amazon valley (see also Augusta Dwyer's Into the Amazon , LJ 3/15/91; Alex Shoumatoff's The World Is Burning , LJ 8/1/90; Adrian Cowell's The Decade of Destruction , LJ 9/15/90). His approach is a skillful blend of colorful Brazilian history and current controversies. Margolis vividly depicts the incalculable destructive forces now being visited upon the human and environment elements of the Amazon basin. At the same time, the author clearly communicates to the reader the rationale for the economic development of this vast wilderness, as seen though the eyes of those hoping to profit from it. For collections of Amazonia, this is one of the best of the recent accounts. Previewed in "Sustaining the Earth," LJ 5/15/92 , p. 116.-- Ian Wallace, Agriculture Canada Lib., St.
Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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