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The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

As a youngster I read of Theodore Roosevelt’s adventurous life prior to him becoming President of the United States America. As a cattle rancher in the Badlands of Dakota Territory, as a big-game hunter, as a lieutenant colonel in Cuba and of his volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders. But, until reading Candice Millard’s book, I had never heard of what must surely have been his greatest adventure. Four years after his failure to win a third term as president and with his political career apparently over, Roosevelt needed a new challenge.

 At the beginning of the twentieth century, The South American rainforest was practically unknown territory. Few white men had ventured into its hostile and impenetrable interior and the former president, by now a middle aged man, was attempting to chart a tributary of the river Amazonas. He was to lead a most extraordinary expedition 1000 miles through the Brazilian jungle. As part of the team he took with him his son Kermit Roosevelt and naturalist George Cherrie. Their many trials and tribulations are compellingly described by Millard.  I was captivated from start to finish and this book is certainly what used to be known as ‘a cracking good yarn’.

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