Monday, August 30, 2010

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

After losing the Bull Moose election, former president Theodore Roosevelt was looking for something exciting to do. He always liked a challenge, and when his old friend, Father Zahm, proposed a trip to the Amazon he was ready to go. After getting backing from the American History Museum, Roosevelt, his son Kermit, and others head down the Amazon on a river that had never been mapped before, The River of Doubt. What ensued was beyond what any of them could imagine; Indians lurking in the jungle waiting to kill them, rapids and falls they didn't know where there until they were upon them, running out of provisions, losing some of their boats in the rapids, mosquitoes and insects that could and would give they malaria and other diseases, and murder and suicide among their group.Roosevelt's wish to map this dangerous, uncharted river became a fight for the lives of everyone on the mission.

This starts out pretty slow, but once everyone gets to South America, it really picks up. I couldn't help but love Roosevelt even though I haven't ever read anything about him before. He treats everyone as his equal, and had courage beyond anything I can imagine. A very interesting true life adventure story.

4 stars

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