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The River of Doubt: Theodore…

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

by Candice Millard

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Recently added byamloeb, private library, rwt42, otheraudra, thei3ug, dmgbooknerd, LovelaceToone, erinnoll, kidmd2
  1. 70
    The Lost City of Z by David Grann (VaterOlsen)
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    The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston (rakerman)
    rakerman: The River of Doubt is a dangerous jungle expedition to explore a river in 1913–14. The Lost City of the Monkey God is a dangerous jungle expedition to explore a lost city in 2015. Although separated by a century, some similar challenges are encountered.
  3. 00
    Jungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya by William Carlsen (rakerman)
    rakerman: River of Doubt tells the tale of a difficult exploration of an Amazonian river. Jungle of Stone tells the story of challenging explorations of Mayan sites.
  4. 00
    In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides (davesmind)
  5. 00
    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris (CSL)
    CSL: Those looking for more about the most remarkable Theodore Roosevelt couldn't do better than to consult this first volume of Edmund Morris' (hopefully) three volume biography of the 26th President.

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First, I did not enjoy reading about an expedition itself so badly planned and disorganized. Nothing "great" about putting a lot of lives in jeopardy because you needed a diversion but couldn't be bothered do what's necessary. I lost most of my admiration for TR. The author tried but couldn't totally put a good face on the botched expedition. And too much of the book was filler: a regular encyclopedia about all things South America, and whatever must have seemed salient about the various "explorers". I suspect many readers would not enjoy such stories unless the mountain climbers fell or the boaters drowned. So they enjoyed a regular demolition derby here. ( )
  rwt42 | Jul 17, 2017 |
Fascinating. Millard's research and detail are amazing. As is the history the narrative describes. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Having fallen from political grace in 1913, ex-President Theodore Roosevelt sets out to explore a hitherto unknown tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil. Poorly planned and woefully executed, the expedition nearly ends in early disaster but survives because of Roosevelt’s tough leadership and that of his Brazilian co-commander, Colonel Candido Rondon. Having previously brought telegraphy to Brazil’s interior, Rondon is godsend for his knowledge of the Amazon, its native inhabitants, and his strict military discipline. Roosevelt’s son, Kermit joins the expedition, ostensibly to keep an eye on his father, but he is nearly lost in the thousand-mile trek as is his deathly ill father.
All in all, a good read, but “River of Doubt” does not engage in the manner of Millard’s “Hero of the Empire” or “Destiny of the Republic.” In her quest for extensive background detail, Ms. Millard brought to mind Jules Vern’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” in which Vern’s in-depth, deep-sea flora and fauna dissertations stalled the narrative. Ms. Millard’s narrative likewise suffers when dealing with the Amazon’s diverse life forms and the intricate, lethal battles played out beneath, around and above the expedition. Good to a point, but as she expounds, the story’s narrative bogs down. Still, wonderfully informative and, barring the tedium of her ecological digressions, a fairly quick read. Three and a half stars for a job well done. ( )
  Renzomalo | Apr 2, 2017 |
An incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, this book is the true story of Teddy Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Mar 10, 2017 |
With River of Doubt, I have finally closed the loop on Candice Millard's available histories. She is a wonderful writer who not only explores the event itself, but widens the scope of her storytelling to include the broader context of her subject. With the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition, she does well in relaying the events of the journey, but the irony of why this books is so enjoyable is the Roosevelt is not wholly the focus. More than Roosevelt, the Amazon river and forest dominate this story. Millard spends ample time explaining the ecology of the region. From the scarcity of wild game to dangers of Piranha and Candiru, in the black water, we are treated to an ominous, dark, and maddening environment. The author also explains the biology of plant life; from why vines grow a certain way and the fact the dense canopy of foliage not only kept the land below dark, but also let little else grow. I give credit Millard for making the science interesting.

However, what struck me the most about this story was Roosevelt's co-commander, Candido Rondon. Rondon was a career Brazilian military officer who had been exploring the Western Amazon basin for years before joining Roosevelt's expedition. Rondon was responsible for miles of telegraph wire placed in the Amazon forest. He was a disciplinarian, but one who commanded the respect of his men. Rondon was also famous for his compassion for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. throughout his years of running telegraph wire he was also responsible for making peaceful advances to many of the dangerous tribes within the forest. He is a fascinating man and Millard does excellent work in bringing him to life.

The journey down the 'River of Doubt' was fraught with challenges on both land and water. The most prevalent challenge was white water rapids and waterfalls. Countless times, the water was too rough and the expedition had to make a portage, which meant carrying the canoes over land. I am amazed by by the constitution of these men who fought disease, starvation, and injury to continue though to the end.

5 of 5 stars ( )
5 vote brodiew2 | Mar 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
"The River of Doubt" spins these events into a rich, dramatic tale that ranges from the personal to the literally earth-shaking... "Ms. Millard succeeds in taking a broad, humbling view of one man's place in the natural scheme of things. She juxtaposes Roosevelt's larger-than-life persona with the rules of the jungle."
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Jan 20, 2017)
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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

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)

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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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