Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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In 1857, Captain William Lewis Herndon sacrificed his life trying to save 600 passengers and crew when his ship foundered in a hurricane off the Carolina coast. Memorialized in Gary Kinder's best-selling book Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, Herndon, with this final courageous act, epitomized a lifetime of heroism. Seven years earlier, the secretary of the Navy had appointed Herndon to lead the first American expedition into the Amazon Valley. Herndon departed Lima, Peru, on May 20, 1851, and arrived at Para, Brazil, nearly a year later, traveling 4,000 miles by foot, mule, canoe, and small boat. He cataloged the scientific and commercial observations requested by Congress, but he filed his report as a narrative, creating an intimate portrait of an exotic land before the outside world rushed in. Herndon's report so far surpassed his superiors' expectations that instead of printing the obligatory few hundred copies for Congress, the secretary of the Navy ordered 10,000 copies in the first print run; three months later, he ordered 20,000 more. Herndon described his adventures with such insight, such compassion and wit, and such literary grace that he came to symbolize the new spirit of exploration and discovery sweeping mid-nineteenth-century America. For the next hundred years, Herndon's report languished out of print before being revived briefly in 1951. Now, for the first time in nearly fifty years, Gary Kinder and Grove Press bring to readers one of the greatest chronicles of travel and exploration ever written.
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About the author

Gary Kinder wrote Light Years, a book about Edward Meier's extraterrestrial experiences. He is also the author of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, a book about the gold recovery expedition and sinking of the SS Central America.

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Additional Information

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 1, 2007
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History / Expeditions & Discoveries
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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NAMED A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017#1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller!
A Best Book of 2017 from the Boston Globe
One of the 12 Best Books of the Year from National Geographic
Included in Lithub's Ultimate Best Books of 2017 List
A Favorite Science Book of 2017 from Science News

A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.

Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.

From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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