The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire

The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire

by Joe Jackson
     
 

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The amazing tale of one of history's most daring acts of biopiracy-and how it changed history

In this thrilling real-life account of bravery, greed, obsession, and ultimate betrayal, award- winning writer Joe Jackson brings to life the story of fortune hunter Henry Wickham and his collaboration with the empire that fueled, then abandoned him. In 1876,

Overview

The amazing tale of one of history's most daring acts of biopiracy-and how it changed history

In this thrilling real-life account of bravery, greed, obsession, and ultimate betrayal, award- winning writer Joe Jackson brings to life the story of fortune hunter Henry Wickham and his collaboration with the empire that fueled, then abandoned him. In 1876, Wickham smuggled 70,000 rubber tree seeds out of the rainforests of Brazil and delivered them to Victorian England's most prestigious scientists at Kew Gardens. The story of how Wickham got his hands on those seeds-and the history-making consequences-is the stuff of legend. The Thief at the End of the World is an exciting true story of reckless courage and ambition that perfectly captures the essential nature of Great Britain's colonial adventure in South America.

Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
Jackson has made a first-rate book out of Wickham's story. A freelance writer and former newspaper reporter who works out of Virginia Beach, he has done a heroic amount of research, made a coherent story out of a huge mass of material and identified the larger themes that give the story its resonance. His writing is lucid, occasionally vivid, and he brings to the enterprise a welcome sense of humor, as well as, when it is useful, a sense of the ridiculous. The Thief at the End of the World not merely is informative and instructive, it also is immensely entertaining, an attribute always to be welcomed.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
"Joe Jackson has written a compelling story of science and politics."
-The Dallas Morning News

"An exhilarating narrative, sweeping us through great discoveries and international rivalries."
-Jenny Uglow, author of The Lunar Men

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101202692
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
266,063
File size:
693 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Joe Jackson has written a compelling story of science and politics."
-The Dallas Morning News

"An exhilarating narrative, sweeping us through great discoveries and international rivalries."
-Jenny Uglow, author of The Lunar Men

Meet the Author

Joe Jackson is the author of one novel and four nonfiction titles, including Leavenworth Train, which was a finalist for the 2002 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. He worked for twelve years as an investigative reporter for the Virginian-Pilot, covering criminal justice and death row.

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