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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey Paperback – October 10, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Roosevelt and his American companions were woefully unprepared for their journey. They brought boats too large to be of use on a shallow river, and had to rely instead on Indian-made dugouts-canoes designed more for local transportation on flat water than long-distanced descents through rapids. The American and Brazilain members of the group often had to portage these heavy, waterlogged boats around rapids, which cost the group both time and precious food supplies.
Food proved to be one of the most vexing problems of the journey. Much of the canned food shipped from the United States was too heavy to be carried to the expedition's launching point in the Brazilian highlands, and had to be discarded. Instead, Roosevelt hoped to augment his increasingly meager rations with game shot along the way. Unfortunately, the rain forest did not offer much bounty and the group ended up eating monkeys and piranhas to survive-creatures far more difficult to kill than deer and antelope.
If that were not enough, disease plagued the expedition at every corner. Kermit, the son of President Roosevelt, fought malaria for most of the trip and Theodore almost died when he contracted a deadly bacterial infection from a small flesh wound.Read more ›
After I got the book and started to read, all of my concerns were put aside. Completely. I know next to nothing about T. Roosevelt. Millard gave me what I needed to know to understand why he would take such a dangerous trip, at such a late age, in the first place.
She was equally masterful with all the other participants (many fascinating characters in their own right). I think Millard was near perfect in giving the background of people and why they ended up on this diasterous adventure while keeping the story moving at a fascinating and absorbing clip. One really gets a sense of how people were feeling when they started with what they thought would be a casual adventure and found themselves descending into one of Earth's strangest hells. It's a spellbinding story delivered by a very competent writer and researcher.
I've always enjoyed true stories of the Amazon River. Miller's River of Doubt is fascinating, informing, and gripping and stands with the best of them.
The author is a former writer and editor for National Geographic magazine and brings that adventurous spirit and knowledge into her writing. She did extensive research for the book into not only the history of the region but also the biology. But this information isn't just tossed into the book for the sake of trivia. Instead she weaves each piece of info into the story. For example, she discusses Roosevelt's foreign policy specifically as it relates to South America while, in the story, Roosevelt's ship is steaming toward Brazil. At other points she discusses fish as large as sharks in order to explain the type of psychological pressures the men were up against as they went along their journey. Also, when helpful for the story, she details relevant biographical information for the purpose of character development.
The story reads like a fiction novel though it is a well-documented and footnoted true story. The suspense involved makes it a page-turner that you don't want to put down. All in all, she fits a broad range of biography, history, and biology into a fascinating true story that reads like a suspense fiction. If you are into to nature, adventure travel, history, or even just quality books, this is the one for you.
I didn't know much about my great great grandfather, Rondon for short, until I read the book. Today he is national icon in Brazil. Kind of like a Lewis & Clark type of figure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After reading Roosevelt'S "Exploring the Amazo", this book provides a different view as well as filling in some missing pieces.Published 3 days ago by Hickory
Excellent telling of the story. Almost as good as Millard's DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC. I'm looking forward to reading her Boer War book next.Published 5 days ago by Mona Parker
This is possibly the most sensitive book on the life of Teddy Roosevelt. His son Kermit wrote the book, and he tells of when Teddy was very sick along the jungle river, and he... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Steve VN
An easy read. I have a very limited understanding of history, so I've been reading books like these (e.g. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Joseph D. Navarrete
this story of Teddy exploring the wild Amazon area is an amazing saga of foolhardy adventured. It amazes me that he took such risks and barely made it out alive. Read morePublished 16 days ago by DB