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Through the Brazilian Wilderness

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  582 ratings  ·  51 reviews
After losing his bid for the United States Presidency as a third party candidate, Theodore Roosevelt decided to take on the most dangerous adventure left on earth. He and his son, Kermit, accepted Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon's invitation to help him plot the course of the River of Doubt. The River of Doubt could just as easily have been named the River of Death. The ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published May 29th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1914)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Debbie Zapata
I found this book thanks to Douglas Fairbanks, whose book Laugh and Live I read recently. He wrote that keeping the mind active as well as the body was important, and mentioned a few books he thought of as worthwhile. Theodore Roosevelt's four volume work The Winning of the West was a favorite on that list, and when I went to see if it was available at Gutenberg (yes, and the four volumes are now on my Someday List) I noticed this title about Brazil. It appealed to me because I needed a book set ...more
Andrew B
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Theodore Roosevelt was the manliest of men.
There's no doubt about it.
This book documents his exploration of hundreds of miles of an unknown river in the middle of the Amazon river over the course of 2 months.

First of all, can you even imagine a contemporary American president taking on such a task? Like, if George Bush finished his time and office and said, "You know what? I'm going to the middle of the Amazon rainforest for a few months with nothing but a gun and a canoe I carved from a
Eric Moote
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Men, Teddy Roosevelt fans, Naturalists
Recommended to Eric by: The Art of Manliness
Shelves: non-fiction
Overall: a sometimes understated tale of courage and bravery in the face of tremendous difficulty and adventure.

Not going to lie, I love Teddy Roosevelt. I think he is an amazing portrait of manliness that every man should aspire to imitate. That is the sole reason I picked this book up and I am glad I did.

The book is Teddy's memoir of the journey that he embarked on after his presidential election loss. He heads down an uncharted river into the Amazon River Basin mapping, charting, detailing,
Thom Swennes
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nature lovers
A positively delightful account of a trek through the unknown interior of the Brazilian wilderness can be read in Through the Brazilian Wilderness by Theodore Roosevelt. The book has something for everyone as it covers biological, zoological, botanical, topographical and geological aspects of the hitherto unknown part of the world. The descriptions are complete and colorfully presented. Roosevelt’s affinity to hunting and the outdoors is well known and overly apparent in this account. I think ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: people
Special review for Vince:
Amazon review:
A former American President nearly dies during an ill-planned exploration through the Brazilian Wilderness and down the River of Doubt. In this first person narrative, never before recorded as an audio book, President Theodore Roosevelt describes his expedition along rivers, which are home to deadly Piranha fish, through almost impenetrable forests filled with insects, snakes and wild animals. Roosevelt witnesses primitive Indian tribes, wary of strangers
It darn near killed him (and undoubtedly shortened his life span considerably), but Theodore Roosevelt's account of his trip down the "River of Doubt" as co-leader of a scientific expedition is riveting stuff.

The strenuous life indeed!
Bradley Cannon
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This autobiographical nonfiction story has all the workings of good fiction, including clever characters, constant conflict, danger, a goal, and an effective climax. The number of animals they see (and kill! Good grief!) is truly astounding. Roosevelt's inclusion of the snake farm shows me that he has a stunning sense of awe for knowledge and exploration. I can think of no better President and no better person to take this journey with, even though he is seriously incapacitated through the ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Oh, to be so utterly certain that you are right about everything! Teddy Roosevelt's confidence comes through. He so clearly has a plan for life that works for him: retreat into the nearest jungle, wilderness, etc, and then emerge triumphant, all the more dedicated to the project of civilization. And you can just see him writing at his makeshift desk every night, in gloves and a mosquito net. And readingMarcus Aurelius and whatever else--his books always make the cut, even when they're paring ...more
Susan Fetterer
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I feel thoroughly immersed in Roosevelt's River of Doubt adventure, having read Candace Millard's telling of the adventure, now followed by TR's own journalistic-style telling of the story. I am awed by his knowledge of insects, snakes, mammals, and birds; his intelligence and modesty as he shared his approach and plan for attaining a near impossible goal, how little he spoke of his own illnesses while focusing on the well-being of his comrades and his authentic regard for them.
It's a little
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Okay, let us get this out of the way first, Teddy Roosevelt was one BAD MOTHA F'ER. The man did a whole lot of manly shit, and a map making expedition through the then uncharted Brazilian super jungle was just one of the many.

The Brazilian jungle is a strange, savage and magical place, and only the toughest of the tough could hack it in the wild.

Roosevelt tells the story in a straight forward, almost scientific way that keeps the pace moving quickly and delivers incredible amounts of
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I didn't love this book. It was often over written and had the flavor of a PhD dissertation. Candice Millard's book 'The River of Doubt' was more readable. But I do love this great man Teddy Roosevelt who wrote the book and not only proved himself as a leader but that of a scientist and a man who believed in the progress of human beings and cultures. I recommend reading these two books together.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
TR's accomplishments as a naturalist, a supporter of education and scientific research, a wilderness explorer, a progressive thinker and skilled writer all come together in his captivating account of his journey "Through the Brazilian Wilderness." Reading this book made me feel proud to be an American.
Alec Gray
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
TR was an amazing man. After his presidency, and after his long African he safari, he joined an exploratory expedition to trace in uncharted tributary of the Amazon. Accompanied by his son,they had a grueling journey and could have easily died. TR's zest for life, his interest in everything, toughness and writing skills are readily apparent in this treasure of a book.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
One does not understand how close Teddy came to passing away on this trip but we nearly lost a former President in Brazil. The rigors of the trip probably contributed in a significant way to his early demise. It is a good read!
Rishi Garg
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Appreciated Roosevelt's almost boyish exuberance in describing wild attributes of animals he encountered along the trip. He was a scholar, naturalist and optimist, and there are likely very few people who can undertake that type of a journey with such courage.
Kevin Sullivan
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A lovely book to read while laid up in the hospital recovering from a heart attack ... seriously! Enjoyed it thoroughly.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-read
I really enjoyed this book. TR brought the same vigor to his writing that he did to everything else he did. This is a great read, detailing an epic journey of discovery.
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Incredible journey a first hand account of this exploration of the uncharted River of Doubt. A must read for history buffs.
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really cool book about what traveling the amazon and some of its tributaries used to be like. More interesting if you are about to travel to south america.
Baal Of
First hand travelogue which provides direct insight into Rooselvelt's approach to exploration. It's a bit odd to read his declarations of the importance of ecological preservation, while at the same time he is cutting a swatch of death through the animals he encounters, and lengthy discussions of how the land can be transformed into settlements, but then everyone has internal contradictions, so this just means he was human. The sheer amount of discomfort and danger he and his crew went through ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has given me a lot to reflect on. It's difficult and seemingly anachronistic to critique a man, considered a progressive 100 years ago, who clearly was of his time rather than ahead of it. Roosevelt comes across as highly educated and highly opiniated. He's humble at times and yet distinctly aware of his former position as a US president and Calvary colonel. He describes with such passion the animals he hunts for museum collections, which funded his Brazilian exploration. Yet, he ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: brazil
“Roosevelt’s Hunting Expedition Through the Brazilian Wilderness” would have been a more appropriate title.

The expedition is described as being a naturalist/cartographical one but more detail is given to the animals hunted and eaten. Few examples were given regarding the potential new species discovered other than their type and a few basis phsysical features.

The journey itself was unique and interesting but the storytelling fell well short. The style of writing was formulaic and felt like he
I wasn't aware that there had been a Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition, before reading this book, and thus the extraordinary first-hand account, written and immortalized by Theodore Roosevelt, of the work of exploration accomplished came as a complete surprise to me.

Those chapters which focused on the traversing and exploring of the River of Doubt were the ones that I was most fascinated with. Once the mystery of that river was mentioned, as well as the intention to demystify it, I eagerly
I have been curious to read a book by Teddy Roosevelt ever since my children and I read a biography about him last year. After discovering how learned he was in so many different areas of expertise, I wanted to experience his writings first hand. I did find the middle of the book to move along rather slowly and become bogged down by incredibly lengthy paragraphs describing the flora and fauna he encountered. I almost gave up, but a friend of mine who is from Brazil loves this book, so with his ...more
Vicky Hunt
Roosevelt was an avid naturalist. His personal account of his trip down the River of Doubt, renamed for him after the expedition mapped it, is filled with flowing descriptions of life in the Brazilian jungle. From the colorful birds like Macaws, to the pestering insects and army ants, to the tapirs, ibis, and plovers, to the jaguar which seemed to be his favorite trophy animal; the former president chronicled the animals he observed, collected, and hunted while exploring the river.

He also talks
Julian Walker
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I came across this on a list of must-read travel books and am delighted to have done so. Engagingly written (despite the age of the book) and amazingly descriptive when it comes to the wildlife.

I am not sure I agree with his premise that the best naturalists would be the big game hunters – especially as they spend a large part of their trip bagging trophies – but this is a genuinely surprising and dramatic expedition, delightfully written about.

I liked the almost OCD listing of equipment
Alexander Anderson
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
If one man could reflect, in a microcosm, the unbridled energy and promise of America at the time, it was Teddy Roosevelt.

It is difficult to imagine a U.S. president of today with a story configured, even remotely, like the one owned by this man.

To read almost anything by or about TR is to glimpse into the auspicious heart of the of the American Myth and to grasp, in the best sense, what constitutes the greatness of America.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
This travelogue written on a trip to Brazil by the author in 1913-1914 where he undertook to explore the River of Doubt, later renamed to the Roosevelt. It discusses the route up the Paraguay River through the Patanal and then down the Roosevelt to Manaus, Brazil. The adventures along the way included hunt for the collection of many animals obtained along the way and many discomforts.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent book. Roosevelt's insight into the correct treatment of native peoples is enlightening as are the attitudes of Rondon. Lots of digression into the settlement of Brazil but a fascinating tale.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although this book has older English and is in places way too detailed as well as being a bit of a relic from a bygone era, it still shines from Roosevelt’s writing and is a fascinating look at this past era.

I would recommend to any adventure fans.
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Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., also known as T.R., and to the public (but never to friends and family) as Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement.

He became the youngest President in United States history at the age of 42. He served in many roles including Governor of New York, historian, naturalist, explorer,
“in the writing of good English is indispensable to any learned man who expects to make his learning count for what it ought to count in the effect on his fellow men.” 2 likes
“The very pathetic myth of "beneficent nature" could not deceive even the least wise being if he once saw for himself the iron cruelty of life in the tropics. Of course "nature"-- in common parlance a wholly inaccurate term, by the way, especially when used as if to express a single entity--is entirely ruthless, no less so as regards types than as regards individuals, and entirely indifferent to good or evil, and works out her ends or no ends with utter disregard of pain and woe.” 2 likes
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