If you are looking for adventure, history and biography this is the book for you. Millard captures Teddy Roosevelt’s larger than life personality as he fails at being reelected to the presidency of the United States in 1912 and then decides to explore an uncharted river in South America. This is a story of guts and determination that has been well researched but reads like a novel and not as non-fiction. You will feel every mosquito bite and see every crocodile that Roosevelt encounters in the Amazonian jungle.
“A rich, dramatic tale that ranges from the personal to the literally earth-shaking.” —Janet Maslin,
“A rich, dramatic tale that ranges from the personal to the literally earth-shaking.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“[A] fine account . . . There are far too many books in which a travel writer follows in the footsteps of his or her hero—and there are far too few books like this, in which an author who has spent time and energy ferreting out material from archival sources weaves it into a gripping tale.” —The Washington Post
Anacondas, huge snakes found in the Amazon River and its tributaries, can weigh up to 500 pounds. That fact and many others embedded in this marvelously atmospheric travel narrative are here for the reader’s asking and edification in Millard’s important contribution to the complete biographical record of the great, dynamic Teddy Roosevelt. TR, it will be remembered, attempted a third term as president in 1912, only to make certain of a Democratic victory. Licking his wounds, and reverting to his typical method of “seeking solace from heartbreaks and frustration” by testing his physical endurance, he embarked on an Amazon exploration adventure. A set of odd circumstances led to the River of Doubt as the choice of venue, a large tributary of the giant river that up to that point had been little explored. What with suffering from fever and infection, Roosevelt nearly died on the trip; but live through it he did, and readers of both American history and travel narratives will take delight in living through these exciting pages. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association.