Eva Soto, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Eva Soto)
Joe Kane offers what pure academic writing doesn't: an on-site experience with an Amazonian tribe who embrace him as one of their own family. Kane goes down to Ecuador to find the Huaorani, an indigenous community threatened to lose their territory and their people to the needs of the oil giants. As the constant struggle to preserve their land continues for decades, Kane lives among them for months at a time, interviews the major representatives of the opposition, and creates a beautiful non-fiction autobiographical book that doesn't allow you to put it down until you are fully finished. Even though it is narrated through the perspectives of the author, there is a lack of subjective commentary that makes you read the book as a piece of history for yourself to judge. His voice is hardly there as a moralist, however significant the experience he narrates is.
It is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read, and it certainly makes my list for my favorite for 2011.
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