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Publishers Weekly, 1993-10-11 This history of European exploration of the Amazon will appeal to travel and adventure buffs. Illustrated. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1989-11-24 Christmas, 1541: Francisco de Orellano and 57 Spanish soldiers set off downstream from the headwaters of the Amazon in Ecuador; nine months later, they reached the Atlantic Ocean. In this history of Amazon exploration, Smith ( The Great Rift ) writes of mutiny and murder, miraculous survival, shifts in world power and international rivalries. A 1637 Portuguese expedition was the first to journey upstream to Quito, and a century later, the French made the first scientific studies of the region. Smith follows the trail of Alexander von Humboldt and Aime Bonpland up the Orinoco to their discovery of a natural link with Amazon waters in 1800. En route the pair collected and measured everything they could reach. We also meet 19th-century Englishmen Richard Spruce and Henry Wickham, who snatched the greatest prizes of the Amazon--seeds of the chinchona (source of quinine) and rubber trees. Later, in 1913, a young American traveler, Walter Hardenburg, brought to light the evils of the rubber industry. The book will appeal to travel and adventure buffs. Illustrated. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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