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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Through the Brazilian Wilderness

Theodore Roosevelt (Author)

Through the Brazilian Wilderness is Theodore Roosevelt's narrative of his expedition into the Brazilian jungle in 1913. Teddy 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. Theodore Roosevelt was truly a unique, gifted and accomplished person. If he had followed the interests 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 expedition collected thousands of species of birds and mammals. Roosevelt admired those who lived life with passion and for what he called "the Great Adventure." The story of his expedition, as chronicled in "Through the Brazilian Wilderness," tells one of T.R.'s last great adventures in his typical inimitable style.

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (1858–1919) was the 26th President of the United States. He is noted for his energetic personality, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, and his "cowboy" image and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912. Before becoming President (1901–1909) he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.

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