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The River of Doubt: Theodore…
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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey (2005)

by Candice Millard

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1,893873,622 (4.19)246
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Theodore Roosevelt's exploration of the uncharted River of Doubt, a tributary of the Amazon, had serious planning problems even before it began. Candice Millard's account is edge-of-your-seat armchair adventure.

The author brings to life the brutality of the jungle and the river. As well as learning of the journey, the reader learns of the animals of the jungle, the unpredictable nature of the river, the ferocity of the native people, the strengths and weaknesses of the exploration party. She does it without being flowery or verbose – just a magnificent telling of the tale.

Of course, the president, who had recently lost his bid for reelection, was a major part of the story, as was his legendary toughness. But just as important on the expedition were his son Kermit and the other key players. And, of course, the hired men who did the worst, most dangerous tasks. At times, the men had to right not only the jungle, the river, and the indigenous people, but also one another.

The epilogue told of the explorers after the journey ended. Some good, some quite sad.

I am a fan of this author, and loved her book Destiny of the Republic just as much as this one. She brings history to life, and anyone who thinks history is dull has not read her books. This book is not a new one, I'm a bit late to the party, but it is timeless.

I listened to an unabridged audio edition of this book, and the narrator, Paul Michael, added to the story. His voice as Teddy Roosevelt was terrific. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Jul 11, 2015 |
Fabulous book - well researched and beautifully written. It's not a biography of T. Roosevelt, but she writes enough about him so you understand the man and what drive him to make such a dangerous trip. And it's not a science/ecology book, but she writes enough about the Amazon so you understand what it's truly like to experience it. And she gives ample space to the others on the trip who are just as interesting in their own way as Teddy. Well balanced and riveting. ( )
  NellieMc | Jun 16, 2015 |
This is the true story of the expedition led by Teddy Roosevelt and Cândido Rondon down an unexplored Amazonian river in 1913-14. The trip was plagued by bad decisions, lost canoes, low rations, bugs, disease, hostile indigenous people, bugs, piranha, fish that make piranha look friendly, bugs. And Roosevelt thought that losing an election was the worst that could happen to him.

It's not the kind of book I would have picked out (book club choice), but I'm glad I read it. I enjoyed the Saturday morning adventure movie parts of it more than the natural history part or the political biography part, but that's just me.I wonder if it would have drawn more of my careful attention if I read it instead of listened to the audiobook. ( )
  CasualFriday | May 17, 2015 |
The author tells the story of T. Roosevelt's adventure down an uncharted river in the Brazilian Amazon, after his 3rd party bid for the presidency failed. Very well told, excellent detail, especially the descriptions of the jungle itself. Highly recommend. ( )
  addunn3 | Apr 30, 2015 |
Exciting and interesting. I read it because my dad did. I've not read enough other similar books to judge it objectively or say anything really, but I did really like it. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
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The line outside Madison Square Garden started to form at 5:30 p.m., just as an orange autumn sun was setting in New York City on Halloween Eve, 1912.
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Teddy takes a trip
Murder, illness, starvation
Sloop John B was right
(amweb)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767913736, Paperback)

At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.

Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.

From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Chronicles the 1914 expedition of Theodore Roosevelt into the unexplored heart of the Amazon basin to explore and map the region surrounding a tributary called the River of Doubt, detailing the perilous conditions they faced.

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