The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes
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The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  488 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Broadway Books
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nonfiction, 3.5 out of 5 stars

Child-killing anacondas, ants that have pincers so strong they are used as a substitute for stitches in wounds, jaguars wanting a tasty snack, vampire bats – are these going to be smaller dangers than the Arrow People?

I'm sorry to say that I would never have had the courage to attempt the expedition that National Geographic author Scott Wallace undertook when he joined Sydney Possuelo's attempt to find and protect, but not meet, “the last uncontacted tribes” of the...more
This book is going straight to my favourites shelf. It will sit there in the company of other gems such as Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger and The Road Gets Better From Here by Adrian Scott. Books that capture the people, the culture, the food, the environment, 'the message' in a way that few books do.

The Unconquered was hard to put down and by the end I didn't want it to finish. In fact, I could have started it all over again. It is books like those than will forever have a treasured place i...more
Jen Hirt
I bought this as an ebook after 1. seeing the author on "The Daily Show" and 2. hearing him on NPR and 3. watching a nature documentary where some explorers flew over uncontacted tribes in the Amazon. Media saturation did its job on me. That said, this book is pretty much what one should expect from mainstream narrative nonfiction; it is a chronological, adventure-by-adventure account that is informative and educational and really interesting, but the descriptions are at times cliched, redundant...more
Clif  Wiens
A journey into the unknown, dangers in a forbidden jungle, and a larger-than-life hero – the stuff of fiction, only Scott Wallace’s unforgettable, “The Unconquered” is a true adventure, with the narrative drive of a great novel but also an acute moral sensibility encompassing the complexities of our world on personal, social, and global level. Wallace’s story is that of a journey to protect an uncontacted tribe in the northwest reaches of Brazil, led by Sidney Possuelo, a larger than life Mr. Ku...more
Agnes Mack
I received The Unconquered courtesy of the Goodreads First Reads program, and I will admit that I was immediately biased against it. The purpose of the expedition on which Scott Wallace tagged along is to locate 'lost savages'. Supposedly not to contact them, but as early as the Prologue, Mr. Wallace admits his real desires:
"Any direct contact with the Arrow People could be disastrous. The tribe had no immunity to the germs we carried. We were not doctors and carried few medications . . .Yet,
This book is about an expedition into the Amazon jungle to chart the territory of an yet-uncontacted Amazonian tribe. I really liked it for the subject matter because I love reading travel stories. Amazon, of course, has a special place in my imagination. I liked it even more for the author's style of writing. His style is very down-to-earth and un-judgmental. He does not idolize environmentalists/indigenous tribes, nor does he condemn anyone. He sticks to the facts, which makes it a really good...more
Stan Caldwell

This is an outstanding book!! The author through his writing was able to take me on an expedition that included hardship, adventure, pathos, and danger only found in the Amazon. I felt the heat of the Amazon, the sting of the insects, and the privation that the author endured during his trek. The "Unconquered" also outlines the life's work and internal fire of Sydney Posseulo driven to protect the indigenous people from many advancing forces threatening their existence. Sydney Posseulo is the ti...more
A fascinating topic: tribes in the Amazon living without contact with the modern world. But far too concerned with petty personality issues, and too fullof poetic description. What should have been an adventure story about the Amazon, the tribes, and the challenges they face, turns into a narrow description of an expedition that ultimately has little impact on the greater issues.Edit out a hundred pages and this is a better book.
Jake Wavra
Only 5 percent of the book actually talked about the indigenous Indian tribe they were seeking to observe. Another 5 percent went towards stuff we already now about the destruction of natural wilderness. The final 90 percent was a personal blog about running around out in the Amazon forest. Overall, somewhat disappointing.
Fiona Ingram
The Unconquered by Scott Wallace is his account of an expedition into the deepest recesses of the Amazon, on assignment for National Geographic, to confirm the existence of ‘The Arrow People’ (or ‘les flecheiros’) so that their territory may be preserved and protected. Wallace joins Sydney Possuelo; a larger-than-life figure in the history of Brazil’s endangered indigenous people, and a man who has devoted his life to saving and protecting the last of the uncontacted tribes.

‘Uncontacted’ is a bi...more
The story Wallace tells is fascinating, and his journey through the rivers and rainforests of the Amazon is amazing and at times surreal. But this book needed a better editor-- Wallace is frequently and painfully repetitive, reiterating the same points about Indian land conservation and his own personal family worries again and again. This very long book should have been much shorter and more concise. Wallace also chooses to focus on some odd things and skim over others. I would have liked to kn...more
One way to remain unconquered is to make sure that you never lose a battle - though that is technically undefeated. If you lose the odd battle but still win the war, you're still unconquered (c.f. Super Bowl repeat-hopefuls, the Green Bay Packers). Another way is to refuse to engage the fight at all - at least, not on a scale that is live-or-die.

In 2003, author Scott Wallace traveled for roughly three months on an expedition led by Brazilian Sydney Possuelo - government worker by paycheck, chari...more
Anna Fierce
Aug 02, 2012 Anna Fierce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Check out my blog for more extensive reviews and more!

PROS: I am still in awe of this book. This may be one of the best books I've ever read. I was a little concerned going in because as much as my Western curiosity wants to read about the "wild" Indians (and in this book they are referred to as Indians, not "Native Brazilians" or anything, so I will use that here), I know that contacting them, no matter how pure-intentioned the gesture may be, will almost certainly prove detrimental to their ph...more
This book is a real page-turner; an adventure that is riveting, brutal, and life-changing. It is the story of an egomaniacal Brazilian named Sidney Possuelo, who is on a crusade to protect the last independent peoples of the the earth: the wild Indian tribes who inhabit the deepest most impenetrable parts of the Amazon rain forest. Reading this book raises many philosophical questions regarding the heirachy of humanity in our world today and whether our high tech fast-paced modern lifestyle is t...more
Dec 27, 2011 Keith rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE !!
Recommended to Keith by: BookPassage store
LOVED Scott's account of his dark dense jungle trip: Hard to believe there are still folk today that have had no modern gringo contact...! Wallace takes us to the edge of 'the unconquered' world via true life quixotic adventurer Sydney Passueolo...With them both, and a bevy of indigenous tribes people, we travel for eight weeks into dank inner Amazonian depths learning fabulous history, culture, geography and various biting bug info along the way...!

Scott Wallace is a terrific story teller: here...more
Ryan G
As a kid, the idea of the Amazon River fascinated me. I would fantasize about swimming in the water, trekking through the jungle, and playing with the jaguars and monkeys. Let's just say I had an overly romanticized notion of what the Amazon River was all about. As a recently turned 36 year old, part of me still has an unrealistic idea of what the Amazon River is and what it means to those who call it's many tributaries home. So when I have the opportunity to read a book, fiction or nonfiction,...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
It’s all here in this book. Anacondas. Alligators. Poisonous plants. Stinging insects. Heat. Rain. And, best of all, a tribe of natives known only for their skill at shooting to kill with poison arrows and their ability to disappear into the rainforest.

Scott Wallace stepped out of modern life for a few months and headed off into the deepest, darkest parts of the Amazon rainforest with a half-mad guide, in search of the mysterious flecheiros, “People of the Arrow.”

Give this book a read. Fantastic...more
One of the best narrative nonfiction books I've read in a long time (and it fed my unquenchable Amazon obsession) The author travels on a FUNAI expedition to locate (but not to contact) indios bravos (wild Indians) in the Javari Indigenous zone deep in Brazil's Amazon region. It's an extraordinary adventure story, history lesson, and thought provoking discourse on what it means to protect indigenous cultures.
T. Carter Ross
Interesting, but ultimately unfulfilling. In many ways, the author comes across as unlikable. The situation he's in is amazing and he does covey a bit of the otherworldliness, but it often seems a bit meh. Maybe, when reduced by hunger and fatigue, the actual experience takes on that almost bland quality, but the book left me wanting something more.
A really fascinating read and one I am glad I read. I learned so much about the Amazon and it's fauna, flora and human inhabitants.
Very Compelling story. The whole family read it and everyone enjoyed it!
The Brazilian government has tried to save its untouched Indian populations from destruction at the hands of civilization. It also has permitted mining, timber, and ranching interests to despoil great sections of the Amazon—perhaps the majority of the area. Scott's book is his record of a 2004 expedition to reach and protect a tribe on the extreme Western edge of Brazil. By protect, I mean keep from contacting while assessing the inroads into their territory within the Javari Indigenous Lands, o...more
I loved this book. I always enjoy books about the Amazon and its indigenous people, but this one is an exciting travel expedition in which you are almost on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Will they encounter hostile tribes intent on killing them? Will the oppressive heat and the unusual food lay them low with dysentery or worse? Will an anaconda grab one of them for his lunch as they bathe in the river? Any journey to the Amazon is fraught with danger, but this is a journ...more
One of the most intriguing and heartbreaking articles I read this year was about the last member of an uncontacted tribe from this region being monitored by either the agency featured in this book or a similar agency in another country. That article and this book explain that after years of disastrous results in which contact with indigenous tribes decimates the population and destroys the culture, that the current policy in at least some of the Brazilian parts of the remote, Amazonian jungle is...more
Kamas Kirian
Slightly disappointed by this tale of a FUNAI team exploring the Amazon jungle to determine the health and living boundaries of an uncontacted indian tribe. It was more the observations and fears of the writer than a true adventure story. The team leader seemed rather bipolar. While it is common for expeditions under adverse conditions to become rather fractious, it seemed like much of the problems were caused by Possuelo himself. FUNAI itself reminds me a lot of the UN Peacekeeping team that wa...more
First of all, the book's title is a lie. It never once says that the "Arrow People", the indigenous group their going into the Amazon for, is the last uncontacted tribe. In fact, it says that there are dozens of isolated tribes and they're not sure how many have been contacted or not.

Secondly, I don't understand why the author bothered to write this book. I am absolutely in support of their mission, and I'm sure that the article he wrote for National Geographic was fascinating. But it was not w...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I like travel books and I have a great interest in indigenous cultures, so The Unconquered was set up to be a win in my book before I even opened it.

But the story he weaves is not for the faint of heart. Scott Wallace finds himself on a journey that has death waiting for him around every corner, men who would kill him without a word, and an adventure that made me rethink travelling in general.

The scary thing is: all of it is true.

Of course there is much to be discussed as far as should we "prote...more
When your mission is to find the Temple of Doom and turn back instead of going in, that tends to not make for the greatest story.

The whole purpose of embarking on this harrowing journey into the unmapped depths of the Amazon was to do nothing, and the expedition itself was part of a hard-fought, but ultimately losing battle—Not your typical adventure chronicle. I think these factors are what caused my feeling of discontentment at the book's conclusion. I couldn't help but want some kind of uplif...more
Perhaps our last frontier is still here on earth with tribes that have yet to have contact with others humans. Scott Wallace, attached to the National Geographic, went on one such excursion into the Amazon jungle in search of a lost tribe, trying to find the inner sanctum of the mysterious People of the Arrow, the flecheiros; Wild Indians.
An ancient tribe of Brazil, it was rumored they had not made offical contact with the outside world. Sydney Pussuelo, president of Brazil's Indian affairs agen...more
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There is more than one author with this name

Scott Wallace is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist whose career covering national and international affairs spans the past three decades. He gained an early reputation for gutsy reporting from the battlefronts and barricades of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Panama in the 1980s, where he filed for CBS News Radio and a succession of...more
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