Book Review: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

February 20, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard on Blogcritics.

About:

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard is a non-fiction book detailing the  travels Theodore Roosevelt and his companions in Brazil. This fascinating account is a must read for fans of the President or adventurers who travel the region.

  • 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • ISBN: 0385507968

Thoughts on: The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

My rating for The River of Doubt – 5

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Thoughts:

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (website) tells of the extraordinary expedition led by Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon and his co-commander, ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, down the unexplored tributaries of the Amazon in 1914. The rigorous 400 mile trip down Rio da Duvida (River of Doubt) tested the stamina, intellect, courage and sense of adventure of all of those in the party. Eleonore Roosevelt did not come, and had misgivings about this trip.

Even though Roosevelt and most everyone in the party were experience in the tribulations of exploring parts of the unknown world, they were unprepared for this trip. From the beginning they had problems, the boats were too big, the river too shallow, the food, when they had it, was little and more.

Many on the expedition got sick, the President’s son, Kermit suffered from malaria and T.R. himself almost died from bacterial infection.

Ms. Millard describes the many hazards as well as the dangerous and fascinating ecology of the rain fores. This fantastic book is not a biography of Roosevelt, but simply a heart-pounding account of the trip, the ramifications and a different side of the President we have rarely seen before.

Rondon seated second from the left (Kermit seating at his feet).
Teddy  Roosevelt seated second from the right. 

Synopsis:

The River of Doubt was an uncharted  tributary of the Amazon River which goes through a treacherous environment. Indians with poison-tipped arrows, piranhas and fast waters are only a few of its dangers.

Losing the 1912 elections, the humiliated Theodore Roosevelt sets his sites on a punishing physical excursion. Together with his son and a famous Brazilian explorer Roosevelt sets to accomplish a feat many said cannot be done.

Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat
through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account

More books by Candice Millard

Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I bought this book.

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3 Comments

  • Okie February 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    My wife recently read this and loved it. It’s on my (hopefully soon) to be read list. Looking forward to it.

  • Ryan February 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Not a book I’ve heard of before, but it sounds like one I would really enjoye. I admire the former president and find something like this in keeping with what I already know about him.

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