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

The Unconquered by Scott  Wallace
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Jan 27, 2012

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Read on January 27, 2012

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, one of two large protected areas. The expedition was headed by Sydney Possuelo, a remarkable man wh carried on the tradion of Candido Rondon and the Boas brothers, whose motto was "Die if you must, but never kill." The account of the expedition is interesting (with more about Scott's marital and parenting woes than was neded), but the end is straight out of Joseph Conrad and Greek tragedy, for flaweed leadership ends up destroying the journey's purpose. Contact occurs due to ambition; the expedition collapses when Possuero becomes a Queeg-like character (Scott's analogy).

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