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The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribesby Scott Wallace
Synopses & Reviews
The unconquered tells the extraordinary true story of a journey into the deepest recesses of the amazon to track one of the planet’s last uncontacted indigenous tribes.
Even today there remain tribes in the far reaches of the Amazon rainforest that have avoided contact with modern civilization. Deliberately hiding from the outside world, they are the unconquered, the last survivors of an ancient culture that predates the arrival of Columbus in the New World. In this gripping first-person account of adventure and survival, author Scott Wallace chronicles an expedition into the Amazon’s uncharted depths, discovering the rainforest’s secrets while moving ever closer to a possible encounter with one such tribe — the mysterious flecheiros, or “People of the Arrow,” seldom-glimpsed warriors known to repulse all intruders with showers of deadly arrows. On assignment for National Geographic, Wallace joins Brazilian explorer Sydney Possuelo at the head of a thirty-four-man team that ventures deep into the unknown in search of the tribe. Possuelo’s mission is to protect the Arrow People. But the information he needs to do so can only be gleaned by entering a world of permanent twilight beneath the forest canopy.
Danger lurks at every step as the expedition seeks out the Arrow People even while trying to avoid them. Along the way, Wallace uncovers clues as to who the Arrow People might be, how they have managed to endure as one of the last unconquered tribes, and why so much about them must remain shrouded in mystery if they are to survive. Laced with lessons from anthropology and the Amazon’s own convulsed history, and boasting a Conradian cast of unforgettable characters — all driven by a passion to preserve the wild, but also wracked by fear, suspicion, and the desperate need to make it home alive — The Unconquered reveals this critical battleground in the fight to save the planet as it has rarely been seen, wrapped in a page-turning tale of adventure.
"A search for a wild people in a last wilderness on an expedition of a sort that is scarcely conceivable anymore. A true adventure, well-researched, well-written, exciting, and authentic — a great pleasure to read." Peter Matthiessen, author of National Book Award winners Shadow Country and The Snow Leopard
"Scott Wallace has brought us a story of jungle exploration written with such urgency and grace that after three days of reading his book non-stop, I feel as if I've just emerged from the forest myself. This is a riveting and brilliant book blessed with the pacing of a novel but carrying the great weight of world events. This is journalism at its very, very best." Sebastian Junger, author of War and The Perfect Storm
"Scott Wallace has written an absolutely wonderful and gripping account of his journey into the Amazon. Along the way, he shines an important light on this fascinating land and its still unknown people." David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
"The Unconquered may be the most engrossing and profound recounting of an Amazon adventure since that long ago masterpiece, Tristes Tropiques." Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name
"The Unconquered is not only a riveting story — crowded with vivid detail and heart-stopping moments — but a first-hand account of a rare and critically important expedition. Wallace and the men with whom he traveled risked their lives navigating the territory of the flecheiros, one of the most isolated and dangerous tribes in the Amazon. The story Wallace returned with will keep you up at night." Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt
"Exquisitely observed and beautifully told, The Unconquered ranks among the very best of modern adventure stories, even more so for the profound questions about man and nature that it explores." Scott Anderson, author of Triage and The Man Who Tried to Save the World
"Scott Wallace takes the reader on an extraordinary trip into the heart of the unconquered Amazon. Wallace writes fluidly and with great verve about an amazing adventure, a trip informed by Wallace's deep knowledge of the history and anthropology of the Amazon. And it's quite a ride!" Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda and The Osama Bin Laden I Know
"An astonishing account that reveals all the drama, passions, contradictions, and dangers inherent in the quixotic yet essential devotions of a cadre that for more than a century has truly lived by the motto, 'die if you must, but never kill.'" Wade Davis, author of Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
"Scott Wallace brings back such riches from this expedition: great characters, deep paradoxes, adventure, wonder, pain. What a yarn! This consummately remote world, the Amazon wilderness, comes thickly to life on the page." William Finnegan, author of Cold New World and A Complicated War
"As riveting as one of the old explorer's classic memoirs, The Unconquered left me with a sense of awe that we share this world with people like the flecheiros — and profoundly moved by the inevitability of their extinction. This is a one-of-a-kind book about a one-of-a kind experience, and it is difficult to imagine that there will be many more like it." Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
"Scott Wallace leads us through the uncharted tributaries of the Amazon to the edge of one of the last uncontacted communities in the world, the ferociously private and enigmatic flecheiros — the 'People of the Arrow.' Along the way, we meet a cast of fascinating and complex characters, the star of which is the brilliant and charismatic explorer Sydney Possuelo. I've read as many works on this topic as I can find. This is the best by far." Mark Dowie, author of Conservation Refugees: The Hundred Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples
"Dream assignment or nightmare? An editor from National Geographic asked journalist Scott Wallace to join an expedition into the deepest wilds of the Amazon jungle to find the mysterious 'People of the Arrow,' a tribe never contacted by the outside world....While the experience was pretty much a nightmare, it's a blessing for readers of Wallace's fascinating book." Associated Press
"Wallace joins the tribe of jungle-besotted literary types led by Redmond O'Hanlon and David Grann and presents a credibly incredible tale about his voyage past the edge of modernity." Huffington Post
"A rousing adventure tale." Wall Street Journal
"Wallace's gripping account in The Unconquered takes us upriver to a place very few outsiders have ever seen...it's hard not to like these characters and their tale." Boston Globe
"What a great book! An adventure story worthy of Joseph Conrad or Peter Matthiessen, superbly researched and photographed." Oregonian
About the Author
Scott Wallace is a journalist whose assignments have taken him from the Himalayas and the streets of Baghdad to the Alaskan Arctic and the Amazon. A former correspondent for the Guardian and Newsweek, he has written for National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and Harper’s. His photography has appeared in Smithsonian, Outside, and Sports Afield. His television credits include CBS, CNN, and National Geographic Channel.
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