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Amazon Journal: Dispatches from a Vanishing Frontier
A work of literary nonfiction blending reportage, history, anthropology, and personal memoir, Amazon Journal is a unique and critical look at how cultural differences in the Amazon have resulted in incidents ranging from comic misunderstandings to blatant exploitation, environmental disaster, and even genocide. Beginning by revisiting the period in the late 80's when the " ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Plume
(first published September 1st 1997)
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Although a bit dated now (written in the late 80s and early 90s) O'Connor's book details the socio-cultural clashes in the Brazilian Amazon's frontier region passionately, yet objectively. The wild-west style stories jump off the page. Some may not like O'Connor's style of writing, which involves telling multiple stories simultaneously; jumping around from one to another between chapters, but it kept me on my toes. I would have loved to see some maps to get a better sense of the geography, but a ...more
Sobering, dense, but highly readable. It was interesting to read this perspective of the rainforest-as-trendy-cause back in the late 80s; I was a kid then, learning about the rainforest in school, and had no idea that it was a hip new thing. I loved the rainforest and did not expect to go there ever.
Riveting and harrowing, this first-person narrative is an on-the-ground account on the continuous rape of the Amazon. Written a decade ago, one can only imagine how different things are now. An important stop in assessing our on-going train crash of environmental destruction.