White Gold: The diary of a rubber cutter in the Amazon 1906-1916

Overview

The crisis of the rainforest began a century ago when it was discovered to be a source of rubber. This brought commercial interests into collision with this complex ecology - its plants,its animals and its peoples. At the height of the rubber boom in the early years of this century, a young American, John Yungjohan, struggled for survival as a rubber cutter. The diaries he kept have recently come to light and have been edited by Sir Ghillean Prance of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England, one of the ...
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Overview

The crisis of the rainforest began a century ago when it was discovered to be a source of rubber. This brought commercial interests into collision with this complex ecology - its plants,its animals and its peoples. At the height of the rubber boom in the early years of this century, a young American, John Yungjohan, struggled for survival as a rubber cutter. The diaries he kept have recently come to light and have been edited by Sir Ghillean Prance of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England, one of the foremost botanical gardens in the world. Dr. Prance is a leading expert on the rainforest.

The diaries are especially poignant now since the rubber cutters are fighting to preserve something of the original forest against the ravages of the indiscriminate destruction which still ignores the true wealth of the region - its almost incomprehensible variety of species. It is a tale of humanity and the natural order working together in the midst of greed and ignorance. Ghillean Prance enhances the text with his own contemporary photographs and identifies the fungi, plants and animals which are mentioned in the pages of the diaries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
White Gold--like the Colombian classid La Voragine--sets forth the depravity of ruthless men who stop at nothing to exploit their fellows, heedless of their sufferings and deaths in the unfamiliar jungle environment where they hoped to earn a living...
Dr. Richard Evans Schultes

"...an extremely interesting look at one man's experiences and adventures as a rubber trapper in the Brazilian Amazon during the rubber boom. The same life and death dramas are being played out today throughout the Amazon Valley..."
Dr. Michael J. Balick
Philecology Curator of Economic Botany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780907791164
  • Publisher: Synergetic Press
  • Publication date: 6/10/1989
  • Pages: 104

Meet the Author

author of White Gold: The Diary of a Rubber Cutter in the Amazon 1906-1916

Former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, UK, Dr.Prance is a leading figure in the ecology, taxonomy and ethnobotany of the Amazon Basin. From 1981 to 1988, he served as the Vice-President for Science at the New York Botanical Garden and as Founding-Director of the New York Botanical Garden's Institute of Economic Botany. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and the Explorers Club, a Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, and a Corresponding Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

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