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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

CHAPTER 1

Defeat

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. The doors were not scheduled to open for another hour and a half, but the excitement surrounding the Progressive Party's last major rally of the presidential campaign promised a packed house. The party was still in its infancy, fighting for a foothold in its first national election, but it had something that the Democrats had never had and the Republicans had lately lost, the star attraction that drew tens of thousands of people to the Garden that night: Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt, one of the most popular presidents in his nation's history, had vowed never to run again after winning his second term in the White House in 1904. But now, just eight years later, he was not only running for a third term, he was, to the horror and outrage of his old Republican backers, running as a third-party candidate against Democrats and Republicans alike.

Roosevelt's decision to abandon the Republican Party and run as a Progressive had been bitterly criticized, not just because he was muddying the political waters but because he still had a large and almost fanatically loyal following. Roosevelt was five feet eight inches tall, about average height for an American man in the early twentieth century, weighed more than two hundred pounds, and had a voice that sounded as if he had just taken a sip of helium, but his outsized personality made him unforgettable-and utterly irresistible. He delighted in leaning over the podium as though he were about to snatch his audience up by its collective collar; he talked fast, pounded his fists, waved his arms, and sent a current of electricity through the crowd. Such unbounded energy and vitality impressed one like the perennial forces of nature, the naturalist John Burroughs once wrote of Roosevelt. When he came into the room it was as if a strong wind had blown the door open.

Not surprisingly, Roosevelt was proving to be dangerous competition for the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, to say nothing of President William Howard Taft, the lackluster Republican incumbent whom Roosevelt had hand-picked to be his successor in the White House four years earlier. It was a bitterly contested race, and Roosevelt hoped that this rally, strategically scheduled just a week before election day, could help swing the vote in his favor.

Before the doors even opened, more than a hundred thousand people were swarming the sidewalks and choking the surrounding cobblestone streets. Men and boys nimbly wove their way through the crowd, boldly hawking tickets in plain sight of a hundred uniformed policemen. The scalpers had their work cut out for them selling tickets in the churning throng. Days earlier the Progressive Party, nicknamed the Bull Moose Party in honor of its tenacious leader, had posted a NO MORE TICKETS sign, but brokers and street-corner salesmen had continued to do a brisk business. Dollar seats went for as much as seven dollars-roughly $130 in today's money—and the priciest tickets in the house could set the buyer back as much as a hundred dollars. On the chaotic black market, however, even experienced con men could not be sure what they had actually bought. When Vincent Astor, son of financier John Jacob Astor, arrived at his box, he found it already occupied by George

Synopsis:

A stirring narrative of a real-life adventure chronicles the 1914 expedition of Theodore Roosevelt into the unexplored heart of the Amazon basin to explore and map the little-known region surrounding a tributary called the River of Doubt, detailing the dangerous conditions they faced--white-water rapids, starvation, illness, jungle menaces, and Indian attacks--to accomplish their goal. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

CANDICE MILLARD is a former writer and editor at National Geographic magazine. She lives in Kansas City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Defeat — Opportunity — Preparation — On the open sea — A change of plans — Beyond the frontier — Disarray and tragedy — Hard choices — Warnings from the dead — The unknown — Pole and paddle, axe and machete — The living jungle — On the ink-black river — Twitching through the woods — The wild water — Danger afloat, danger ashore — Death in the rapids — Attack — The wide belts — Hunger — The myth of "beneficent nature" — "I will stop here" — Missing — The worst in a man — "He who kills must die" — Judgment — The cauldron — The rubber men — A pair of flags.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307575081
Subtitle:
Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Author:
Millard, Candice
Author:
Candice Millard
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
History : United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Expeditions & Discoveries
Subject:
Latin America - South America
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Audio Books-World Affairs
Subject:
Audio Books-World History
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Subject:
US History-Roosevelt, Theodore
Subject:
US History-US Presidency
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
Foreign Languages-German Children s
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20061010
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
432

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » South America
Science and Mathematics » Forestry » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Travel » General
Travel » South America » Brazil
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
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Product details 432 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307575081 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A stirring narrative of a real-life adventure chronicles the 1914 expedition of Theodore Roosevelt into the unexplored heart of the Amazon basin to explore and map the little-known region surrounding a tributary called the River of Doubt, detailing the dangerous conditions they faced--white-water rapids, starvation, illness, jungle menaces, and Indian attacks--to accomplish their goal. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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