Synopses & Reviews
The search for the lost City of Gold in the Amazon basin has inspired adventurers since the days of the Spanish conquistadors and Sir Walter Raleigh. Intrigued by the cultural, economic, and environmental fallout of a five-hundred-year gold rush, journalist Marc Herman traveled to the rainforests of Guyana, where he joined up with a rowdy crew of local gold-miners as they pursued their dreams of riches.
In an adventure-filled narrative rich with humor and empathy, Herman brings to life the group of miners. They are independent prospectors who wear all their earnings on their fingers and around their necks their bank accounts are oversized rings and huge gold necklaces. But yards away from the mines where these men seek their fortunes with techniques reminiscent of Californias forty-niners dynamite, tin pans, and wooden sluices there are mines run by international corporations that fail to alleviate the areas poverty despite their tremendous technological and political power.
Searching for El Dorado is an astonishing achievement, a lively, humor-filled adventure full of colorful people and incidents wrapped around an eye-opening look at the contemporary colonialism that is enough to make you question the value of gold.
"Each sentence transports us immediately into the jungle, the mine or some dry- goods store deep in the Amazon
.Thanks to his gift for reporting, Herman also captures the disarray that persists in the Amazon, especially in Guyana, where he spends most of his time...."John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle
"Herman's book is as playful and rangy as his journalism, mixing history, environmental critiques, and swift-moving descriptions of a circuslike cast of local gold diggers. Parts of Searching have the gleeful momentum of an adventure story, complete with river pirates and prospectors who settle disputes without the law...." Michael Miller, Village Voice
About the Author
Marc Herman's work has appeared in publications including Mother Jones, Spin, Harper's, and McSweeney's. He first earned an enthusiastic following for his coverage of the 1996 elections for Might Magazine. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.