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Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
By far the world's largest river, the Amazon flows through the greatest expanse of tropical rain forest on earth. Human beings settled in Amazonia ten thousand years ago and learned to live well on its bounty. Europeans first saw the Amazon around 1500 and started settling there in the seventeenth century. Always in fear or awe of the jungle, they tried in vain to introduc ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 17th 2008 by Thames Hudson
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Mike Histand
Mar 03, 2016 Mike Histand rated it it was amazing
Hemming apparently is one of the definitive historians of the Amazon region. His book is a densely packed tome describing explorations starting with the Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 1500's and finishing with the trans Amazon highway of the present time. He includes references to the many tribes of indigenous peoples and the overwhelming atrocities brought against them by explorers and their diseases. The Amazon basin is such a huge area with a yet to be determined effect on the world' ...more
May 21, 2017 James rated it really liked it
A extensive, thoughtful tour of the history of the Amazon watershed, often descending into heart-breaking episodes of exploitation and cruelty. Hemming tours the great river's natural history and human habitation, taking us through what we know of its native peoples from accounts of colonists and the peoples themselves.

The wars, pestilence and slavery of the Portuguese occupation are aptly captured, and he also lends energy and enthusiasm to the great missions of scientific discovery conducted
Feb 13, 2017 Woody rated it really liked it
A detailed history of the exploration and exploitation of Amazonia. The early explorations and rubber tapping years (through 1911) were difficult to read about due to the brutal, gruesome, sub-human treatment of the indigenous people by the Europeans. The Amazon got a respite after rubber-tapping diminished, and eventually some of the indigenous people were protected by refuge areas and more benign policies. The ecology was mostly spared until the logging, ranching and soy farming that has come ...more
Ian Mchugh
Oct 30, 2011 Ian Mchugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this whilst traveling between Manaus and Belém. It's great way to discover the history of the vast river Amazon. The text is quite weighty in places and it reads more like a reference book than non-factual description but John Hemming does a great job of marshaling 500 years of history into such short a time.
The chapter headings allow for vast sweeps of history and for thematic study of certain issues related to the Amazon's place in Brazil, Latin America, and the world.
Anyone thinking of
Oct 29, 2008 Tarynroch rated it liked it
I didn't finish this books b/c it came due at the library and I knew that I would not finish it with the three renewals that I am granted. However it is good, just too reference-y for me right now -- it's the type of book that you can't read all at one time. If you are interested in the Amazon and its native people, this is probably a must read.
Teresa Bunn
Dec 08, 2014 Teresa Bunn rated it it was amazing
An excellent book for this trip along the Amazon.
Aug 26, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
Hemming has to be my favorite non-fiction writer about the Amazon and Peru. This is a mixture of natural science, history and geography in a highly readable volume.
Aug 27, 2009 Lucia rated it it was amazing
My favourite writer, as brilliant as always! =-)
Liza rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2010
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Dr John Hemming, CMG is one of the world's experts on Brazilian Indians, the Amazon environment, the Incas, Peruvian archaeology, The Royal Geographical Society, and the history of exploration generally. He is also Chairman of Hemming Group Ltd., a company that publishes trade magazines and organises trade exhibitions and conferences.

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