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The River of Doubt: Theodore…

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

by Candice Millard

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Title:The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
Authors:Candice Millard
Info:Doubleday (2005), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:owned, read

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

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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 | Jun 6, 2016 |
Excellent reading; highly suspenseful. ( )
  Jerry_Sonenblick | Feb 25, 2016 |
This book is called a biography (918.113] and tells of the later life of Theodore Roosevelt after he lost his last try for the presidency but for me it was more a story of the rain forest and an adventure. Roosevelt decides to go on an exploration in South America Amazon. Once there, plans change and instead of taking a known route the expedition decides to go down an uncharted tributary of the Amazon called The Rio da Dúvida. No one on the expedition was prepared for the environment they entered. They did not know the rain forest or how to survive the rain forest and this was all in the early 1900s when there were no phones, no planes and no way to stay in communication with people once they entered this uncharted area. Roosevelt was in his fifties and not in the best of health for such a challenge to endurance. The author, Candice Millard, makes this an enjoyable read that pulls you along like the rapids that the men encounter over and over on the Dúvida. This book covers the natural history of the rain forest flora and fauna and the ecosystem. It also introduces the culture of the indiginous people found living in the rain forest. So this book is natural history, a travel book, an adventure and a biography. ( )
1 vote Kristelh | Jan 30, 2016 |
The story of how Teddy Roosevelt decided to travel down an uncharted river, the River of Doubt, in the Amazon basin. Roosevelt and his crew don't have enough supplies or decent boats for the journey and they barely make it through the trip alive. The book starts off slow and doesn't really pick up until the group reaches the River of Doubt. It is at times a harrowing story but I was so annoyed with the group for going into this situation totally unprepared that it lessened my appreciation for the story. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt is about an exploration of a 1,000 mile tributary of the Amazon through dense rain forest and hostile native tribes. However, the most notable part of the exploration is that one of its leaders was former President Teddy Roosevelt. Shortly after loosing his bid for re-election when Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate, Roosevelt wass persuaded to go to South America where he would speak to various heads of state and tour the Amazon. However, Roosevelt soon transformed what was originally conceived as being more of a pleasure cruise into something much more adventurous - an exploration of one of the unmapped waterways in the Brazilian interior.

Millard, who is an excellent writer, explains how the idea then spun out of control with plans being made for an expedition by people who did not understand what exploring this part of the world meant. Meanwhile, Roosevelt who had a long history of adventure seeking and challenging himself, failed to grasp until very late in the process that the organizers to whom he had entrusted the details did not really understand the undertaking well enough. Moreover, Roosevelt himself comes across as foolishly confident of his ability to persevere, especially considering his age.

The story of the expedition makes clear just how dangerous the journey truly was and how close Roosevelt came to dying in the attempt. The idea of an ex-President disappearing into the wilderness for months today in order to explore unknown lands is unthinkable today. Of course, the modern world also has fewer blank spaces on our maps too. There are no 1,000 mile rivers that lay undiscovered and it has now become a challenge to avoid contact with the rest of the world for months, even in remote places.

Millard's book was a fascinating read for her discussion of Roosevelt's character and the events of the trip itself. I will say that much of the description of the perils of the rain forest read a lot like the descriptions in Jungleland and the Lost City of Z but I suppose there are only so many ways to describe the environment. Ultimately though it is the involvement of Roosevelt that elevates this well done book of exploration into a unique historical event.
3 vote Oberon | Nov 27, 2015 |
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First words
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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Disambiguation notice
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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)

(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.

(summary from another edition)

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