- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Beginning in the middle 1930s and for the greater part of the next two decades, Schultes journeyed throughout the remote Amazonian jungle to study the psychoactive and medicinal plants used by its indigenous peoples. His discoveries—including the natural plant source for LSD—have filled the annals of ethnobotany and helped kick off the hallucinogenic era of the 1960s. Schultes survived beriberi, malaria, frequent capsizings, and airplane accidents. But perhaps his most adventurous and sometimes dangerous forays were into the psychoactive drug rituals of tribes located deep within the Colombian and Brazilian rainforests. Schultes was recruited by the US government in the late '30s to find and develop new, blight-resistant sources of rubber, a project that was foolishly abandoned, according to Davis, because of bureaucratic infighting and ineptitude. Faintly echoing Schultes's saga is Davis's account of his own 1970s expedition, when he accompanied the ethnobotanist Tim Plowman to the Andean regions of Peru and Colombia to collect specimans of coca and study its cultivation patterns; in the footsteps of their mentor, Schultes, both men sample the hallucinogenic effects of various potions, chew coca leaves, and find themselves in some dicey situations on mountain roads. These episodes are flavored with revealing histories of the brutal Spanish conquest and the more recent but equally gruesome enslavement of Indians to the rubber trade, and contain some sprightly written, at times dryly ironic travel prose. But Davis's own experiences pale by comparison with the main narrative and are interjected at seemingly random intervals.
Although Davis might have been better advised to scale down, this is an exceptional tale of 20th-century scientific exploration and a rousing travelogue to places both real and illusory.
Posted January 29, 2007
One River really tought me about the amazon and how different plants are used. Wade Davis shows the reader what you might now about the Amazon in a fascinating and exciting way. I never knew that so much of the amazon is really useful to people. It makes me think about how we shuold save the forest becuase who knows what plant we can find that may cure cancer. And the book showed me even the illegal use of plants such as the coca plant. Wade Davis wrote a great book that really opens your eyes to teh wonders and mystery that is the Amazon Forest. Its full of adventure, mystery and tribal indians. Its a book I would Recomend to any reader thats is interested into other cultures.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2003
I love adventure books, but this one transcends the genre to encompass aspects of history, ethnobotany, and sociology. It covers the author's own travels and those of his mentor, the famous ethnobotanist Richard Evans SChultes, who's work in the AMazon searching for new souces of rubber during the WWII shortages was a project every bit as secretive and ambitious in scope as the Manhattan Project. Adventure is always more interesting when it takes place as part of the pursuit of legitimate scientific ends rather than just pure thrillseeking. Davis's travels and those of his mentor rival anything in the literature, but what sends this book ocver the top is the luminous writing of the author and his fondness for both his work, the people he writes about and his mentor. THe only way to improve this book would have been for the author to add some maps! HIghly recommended!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2003
This is a fantastic book documenting the adventures of Wade Davis and his contemporaries through the South American rainforests in search of rubber, cocaine, and other plant commodities. Though it occasionally gets bogged down in superfluous historical anecdotes, it is nonetheless extremely educating AND entertaining. Highly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2001
A thrilling ride. Wade Davis takes the reader on a roller coaster of truths, clarifying the myths and lore surrounding the indigenous peoples of South America. Extremly informative, this book will broaden perspectives and change the associated necessities of modern society.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2011
No text was provided for this review.