Customer Reviews for

River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

Average Rating 4
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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2015

    Slow to get into

    I bought this book two to three years ago and read the first 30 pages or so and just could not get into it. So it sat in my library. Finally after watching "The Roosevelts " on PBS, I said alright read that book. I just finished and it most certainly picks up once the journey begins. Not the greatest book, but full of interesting facts. Just be prepared to take a while with it.

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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 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Good read but bit too long

    This book was picked in our book club. It was a good read and I learned about the conditions along the river and the men who went on this adventure. I thought the book could have been edited more tightly. Not infrequently I would be reading a passage thinking I had read the same information earlier.

    At the same time I must say that the author's writing about the Brazilian forest, while perhaps too long, was also very informative. I think I got a real feel for the challenges and dangers that the men on this expedition faced. Also her treatment of the conditions of the indigenous people was well done.

    I have forgotten much that I learned years ago about Teddy Roosevelt and so this book refreshed my memory at times and also provided me new insight about him as a man. I was a bit surprised by what I perceived as poor and inadequate planning for such a difficult trip. I noted that Roosevelt was very concerned about his son's recklessness but he seemed to lack an awareness of his own poor judgement on this trip.

    I attributed Roosevelt's survival not only to his courage and resilience but also good luck in finding help at a critical time.

    I found his co-leader Rondon to be a more competent explorer.

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  • Posted June 2, 2012

    highly recommended

    excellent book to read period. gives good insight into Teddy Roosevelt. very well written, reads like a novel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    An interesting book

    If I could I would give it 3.5 stars. 3 stars for me is an average book. I really enjoyed her book on President Garfield. This book was good but for me wasn't as interesting a subject. However, it was worth reading.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Well Done

    I had no idea this ever took place. Reading about it was very interesting but I would have liked to have seen a little more "on-the-river" description but at the same time not taken away a thing from the planning, the overland journey, as well as the epilogue. A map per chapter would have enhanced the experience.
    Over all a well written book with excellent research.
    Well worth reading.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    Terrific Book Club read

    This book turned out to be a great discussion book at our book club meeting. If you've never read anything about Teddy Roosevelt this book will be an eye-openning look at the courageous naturalist he was. It also takes you back in history into a time most people have forgotten about - when many parts of the world were still unchartered, and people were making a name for themselves going beyond boundries and creating new ones.

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