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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

Average Rating 4
( 164 )
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(78)

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(48)

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(24)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Great Read

River of Doubt is a great read. It's a look into a day when men still did exceptional things, without thought of their safety. truely a lookinto the later life of one of America's greatest men.

posted by davedDD on December 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Don't bother

There are some passages which are interesting here, but I find myself pulling my hair out as I read chapter after chapter about another portage, another loss of supplies, another description of despair. It feels like one is stuck in the back seat of a car and asking, "a...
There are some passages which are interesting here, but I find myself pulling my hair out as I read chapter after chapter about another portage, another loss of supplies, another description of despair. It feels like one is stuck in the back seat of a car and asking, "are we there yet??"
I understand why other historians did not give this expedition much attention.

posted by Marisue on November 21, 2010

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read

    River of Doubt is a great read. It's a look into a day when men still did exceptional things, without thought of their safety.
    truely a lookinto the later life of one of America's greatest men.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 18, 2009

    An education course in history, geography, biology, exploration, team efforts, and unique balance.

    This is a wonderful exciting description of an adventure by one of our most famous presidents. If you get excited about real life exploration that is descriptive detail that keeps you wanting to read on and on then read this book. I was excited about the writing of Candice Millard and disappointed to not find any other books by her.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    River Of Doubt book review

    This is a biography about Theodore Roosevelt¿s darkest journey down the River of Doubt (Rio da DÚvida) which is the name of the 1000 mile river that is a tributary to the Amazon River. The River of Doubt is and uncharted tributary that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world.<BR/>Candice writes ¿Throughout his life, Roosevelt had turned to intense physical exertion as means of overcoming setbacks and sorrow, and he had come to the Amazon in search of that same hard absolution.¿ <BR/>After serving two terms as president Roosevelt took a safari to Africa for a year. He brought back several things that stocked the newly formed Natural history museum in Washington D.C. To date the collection of things he brought back and contributed is more than anyone else has.<BR/>This adventure takes place after Roosevelt failed campaign for an unprecedented third term in the White House in which Roosevelt founded the Progressive Party and ran on its ticket.<BR/>I particularly enjoyed Candice Millard¿s style of writing, as it made me feel as if I was right there with the expedition, exploring and traveling down and uncharted river in the tropics, with the beauty of the surroundings, the treacherousness of the rapids of the river, and a very dangerous and volatile Indian tribe that would just as soon kill you with poison arrows as to look at you.<BR/> Theodore Roosevelt is portrayed as the author states as a person with ¿puritanical morals.¿ Throughout this expedition he gave of his food to others that were with him even when he was to sick and weak to do so.<BR/> The descriptions of botanical and medical nature are quite thorough; as are the parasites and trials they went through. Due to lack of food starvation was one among many of the dangers they faced.<BR/> The research that Candice did in writing this book was not only quite thorough but also it would seem went above and beyond the call of duty to insure the accuracy of the events.<BR/> Due to the adventure I found the book to be fast moving as it held my interest throughout, as a result I would highly recommend it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I've been a longtime admirer of Teddy Roosevelt so when this boo

    I've been a longtime admirer of Teddy Roosevelt so when this book was originally published I got it right away. I started reading it but something happened and for no particular reason I stopped after a few chapters. I found that I wasn't as enthusiastic about it as I thought I would be. So for several years it set on my book shelf and I promised I would go back and finish it someday. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. This book has a lot of interesting information, everything from Roosevelt family history to politics of the era and the story of the Amazon all rolled into a pretty rousing adventure tale. If there is one failing of the book it is the lack of atmosphere. What I mean by this is that while the author writes of the dire circumstances of the expedition's plight the writing can be a little too sterile to convey that emotionally. It's one thing to be told of the crew's starvation but I didn't necessarily feel like I was there. It's hard to quantify and it is not a major problem, the writing is very well done.

    I like the insight into Roosevelt's personality and ideals. If there is one thing the author conveyed in no uncertain terms it is the admiration and sense of awe that the former President instilled in those around him.

    I love this time frame in US and world history and this jungle safari fantasy come to life. It was packed full of great information and little bits of detail that added quite a bit to the story. The historic photos also added a lot. For me it was a fast and enjoyable read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    Great, exciting read

    If you like adventure books or President Roosevelt, this is an excellent book. I normally do not read adventure books but I couldn't put this down. Literally, I couldn't wait to find out what was around the next curve in the river.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    A wonderful true adventure story - I never knew about this expedition - wha an amazing and courageous group of explorers

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    A gripping, if somewhat melodramatic tale

    This is an overall fascinating account of great adventure and triumph against the odds. I appreciated lack of numbered annotations in the text, which kept the story flowing. The author describes the rain forest and its inhabitants very well. I felt I was being led to believe some disaster would come of the relationship of Kermit and Belle, as our attention was constantly turned to it through his letters to her. The dugouts, for the most part, did get the party a long way down the rapids of the river and were easily traded to the rubber men, so why did I get the feeling they were to lead to absolute disaster? I would read this again in a minute, despite the somewhat melodramatic telling of a story that needed no embellishment. But first, I want to find a good read on Colonel Rondon!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent read

    I found this to be a wonderful documentation of an aspect of President Roosevelt's life I had never learned from history classes. Both entertaining and educational.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    Great read!!! Candice Millard Brought History Alive in this Book!

    Never before have I ever read history described in such detail. Candice Millard brought the rain forest alive, with her words. The research was great. History lesson with a twist of geography and made me like it. Wow I can't say enough about this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    Don't bother

    There are some passages which are interesting here, but I find myself pulling my hair out as I read chapter after chapter about another portage, another loss of supplies, another description of despair. It feels like one is stuck in the back seat of a car and asking, "are we there yet??"
    I understand why other historians did not give this expedition much attention.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2007

    Amazing

    Amazingly detailed research and tightly written. A great portrait of Roosevelt and his son Kermit.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable story of advenure.

    Great book for anyone looking for a story of great adventure, some history and discovery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2010

    GREAT BOOK

    I am a slow reader but plowed through this book. Good story. Good charecter detail. Good adventure. Great read. Good historical story. Might learn a little too. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Candice Millard, An Exceptional Writer

    The extraordinary life of Theodore Roosevelt is exceeded in this book solely by the excellent writing skills of the author. I've yet to finish the book and yet feel competent to report that the writing exceeds my greatest expectations for a knowledgeable, enthralling story of this exploratory adventure. The author weaves the most delicate web of intrigue and yet progresses effortlessly along the tale's path. Highest regards for and congratulations to the author.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    FORESTCLAN MAP

    Res 1: Main Camp. Res 2: Map. Res 3: Bios. Res 4: Warriors Den. Res 5: Medic Den. Res 6: Leaders Den. Res 7: Apprentices Den. Res 8: Nersury. Res 9: Training Hollow. Res 10: Hunting Grounds. Res 11: High Rocks. Rivers and waterfalls. Res 12: Territory Boundry.<br>
    ~Holly|Star~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    Forestclan map and rules

    Res 1: Main camp
    Res 2: Map and rules
    Res 3: Bios
    Res 4: Chat room
    Res 5: Leader's den (talk to me in private, one at a time please)
    Res 6: Deputy den
    Res 7: Med den
    Res 8: Nursery
    Res 9: Warriors den
    Res 10: Apperentice den
    Res 11: Elder's den
    Res 12: Fresh kill pile
    Res 13: Hunting ground
    Res 14: Forest
    Res 15: Lake
    Rules: no cussing. No mating. Get a private book. Simple.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Riverclan rules

    NO INAPPROPIATE LANGUAGE OR ACTIONS NO GODMODDING RP LIKE THE WARRIORS SERIES FOLLOW THE WARRIOR CODE SUGGESTIONS AND OPINIONS ARE TO BE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Something's not right

    I'll state right up front that I haven't read this yet although I have it in my library so I may be speaking out of turn. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly take this comment down.
    The premise of this book seems to be that T.R. goes on his Amazonian adventure as a result of a failed bid for a third term as President of the U.S. However, Doris Kearns Goodwin in her book "The Bully Pulpit" about the relationship between T.R. and William Howard Taft categorically states on numerous occasions that T.R. declined to run for a third term! He announced publicly after winning his second term that he would not run. He made another public announcement after he convinced his friend Taft to run in 1912. When it looked like public support might give T.R. the nomination over Taft, he made another announcement that if he were nominated, he would decline!
    This is not to say that he didn't have misgivings and regrets about not running. He believed that he had a lot more to accomplish and he LOVED being President. However, he thought that a third term would possibly destroy the Republican Party he loved so dearly due to the rift between the conservative and progressive factions of the party. He also believed that Taft was uniquely qualified to carry on the policies he had set in motion.
    Why is this important? If the stated motivation for this adventure is wrong, what else might be?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    It was a fascinating book.  Good questions for discussion groups

    It was a fascinating book.  Good questions for discussion groups also.  4 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Highly recommend

    This was a fascinating account of not only the expedition itself, but of the man Theodore Roosevelt. I was astonished at the man's endurance and character. We need more Americans like him.

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