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Through the Brazilian Wilderness Paperback – June 4, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Roosevelt has been able to add one more excellent volume to a list which is already a paraiseworthy record. (The New York Times)

An exceedingly fascinating story of adventure. IT is the best story...that the many-sided former president of the United States has produced. (The Boston Transcript) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

In addition to his political accomplishments, Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the twenty-sixth president of the United States, is known for his achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, soldier, and author. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (June 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143829073X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438290737
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Theodore Roosevelt was a man's man. A New York kid whose taste for adventure was sparked in his boyhood by a dead seal for sale on a Broadway sidewalk. Harvard student, soldier, Rough Rider, youngest President ever and one who survived the assassin's bullet, maverick politician, Nobel Prize winner, hunter and conservationist, and finally the man who, at 55 years old, explored an unknown region of the Amazon river basin. Imagine one of today's former-Presidents undertaking a similar adventure. For six weeks, in 1914, Roosevelt and his party paddled and carried their canoes down a previously unexplored 950-mile river now called the Rio Roosevelt. Men died, boats were lost, food became scarce, dangerous animals and natives were about, fever borne by insects sickened many in the party (and led to Roosevelt's own death five years later). This is the stuff of "Through the Brazilian Wilderness".
Roosevelt's other works, including "The Rough Riders", are better known, and this one is not great literature. Instead, it is a remarkable adventure story by an interesting man. The book is essentially Roosevelt's trip diary, colored by his great enthusiasm for adventure and the natural world. Even before reaching the Amazon, Roosevelt stops at a Brazilian snake research lab that so captures his attention that he writes seventeen pages about it. At all times, he makes careful note of the wildlife he encounters, not quite with the depth of a professional scientist, but with the trained eye of a dedicated and experienced hobbyist. He squeezes in some amusing stories about piranha fish that he heard --and apparently believed.
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Format: Paperback
As those familiar with his history know, Theodore Roosevelt was truly a unique, gifted and accomplished person. He was naturalist, historian, big game hunter, politician, statesman, conservationist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize rolled into one. If he had followed the interests and predilictions of his youth, he would have grown up to be a naturalist rather than President of the United States. As a boy he had a vast collection of frogs, squirrels, snakes, birds, insects that he called the Roosevelt Museum of Natural History.
Science's loss was politics gain. However, T.R. never lost his interest in nature. Following his presidency, he set out on an expedition to explore and map unknown regions of Paraguay and Brazil on the 950-mile River of Doubt, a previously unexplored tributary of the Amazon River. The scientific endeavor became an ordeal to test the expedition's courage and stamina as it faced overpowering heat, dangerous rapids, wild animals, devouring ants, endless insects, fever, dysentery and more. The expedition collected thousands of species of birds and mammals, but Roosevelt would die a few years after completing the expedition. Roosevelt admired those who lived life with passion and for what he called "the Great Adventure." This story chronicles one of T.R.'s last great adventures in his typical inimitable style.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did not know that TR was an explorer as well as soldier, author, president, etc. I thought this was a fascinating, clearly written, and very informative exposition of Roosevelt's exploratory expedition "through the Brazilian wilderness." He traveled with naturalists, explorers, collectors, his son Kermit, and various others. They discovered a major river that was not on any map, and not even suspected to exist. They spent weeks going around rapids and waterfalls. They lost 5 of their original 7 canoes and had to make new ones. They collected a great many natural history museum specimens, ate monkeys and piranhas and peccaries, took copious notes on terrain and its wildlife and plants. Don't skip the appendices, which contain amazingly detailed packing lists for such an expedition. Bully!

TR is mildly annoying when he rants about how awful it is to equate exploration with expedition. He's talking about the folks who journeyed down known rivers, tramped over known ground, and called themselves adventurers. This happens several times in the book. Once you know to expect it, though, it's more amusing than irritating.

TR has a poetic flair when describing Brazilian flora and fauna, and he is pretty funny when explaining how so-and-so got the map wrong. I enjoyed this book very much. It's long, so be warned.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this bookTeddy Roosevelt chronicles his travels through unchartered territory in Western Brazil. Roosevelt, along with his son, Kermit, and several naturalists from the American Museum of Natural History joined Colonel Cândido Rondon, a Brazilian explorer on his scientific expedition to discover the source of a previously unknown river.

The trip fulfilled two purposes. The naturalists collected specimens for the museum: 2,500 birds and 500 mammals. (Amazing in light of the many laws in place to preserve Brazilian wildlife today.) The other purpose was for Rondon and company to travel up the unexplored river and chart it on a map for the first time. Roosevelt wrote:

We did not know whether we had one hundred or eight hundred kilometers to go, whether, the stream would be fairly smooth or whether we would encounter waterfalls, or rapids, or even some big marsh or lake. We could not tell whether or not we would meet hostile Indians, although no one of us ever went ten yards from camp without his rifle. We had no idea how much time the trip would take. We had entered a land of unknown possibilities.

The first half of the book was a bit dull, but the action picked up as canoes were lost, a man is killed, Kermit almost drowns, and Teddy becomes ill with a life-threatening fever. I really wished for a map (maybe the non-Kindle version has one) to help me trace their steps. All in all, a very interesting read.
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