The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

by Candice Millard
4.1 165

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River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
BrianKGlass More than 1 year ago
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.
davedDD More than 1 year ago
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.
Judesd More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Lisa52 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful true adventure story - I never knew about this expedition - wha an amazing and courageous group of explorers
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Gary51 More than 1 year ago
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.
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.¿
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WM_D More than 1 year ago
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.
BubbaMo More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as compelling as The Lost City of Z. This book does illuminate the arrogance of Roosevelt and his pals.
swmreader More than 1 year ago
Great book for anyone looking for a story of great adventure, some history and discovery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
AJ_Wheat More than 1 year ago
Just when you thought you couldn't pack in one more amazing, adventurous detail from Theodore Roosevelt's remarkable life - then he takes you down the River of Doubt! I had read several books on TR's remarkable life and had seen mention of his expedition in South America, but in reading Candice Millard's excellent book - you glimpse something of the essence of this great man. He suffered a heart-breaking loss in his Progressive Party presidential loss of 1912. He was depressed and felt somewhat lost for what his life would be. So in 1913, at age 54, Roosevelt and his son Kermit struck out on a daring expedition deep into the Amazon jungle of Brazil to find a fabled uncharted river. You can see the frustration being exercised out of TR as they press through difficult challenges and hardships to find the river. Then you see the lion personality of the man humbled by what became a journey for survival - navigating the River of Doubt. The name of the river (The River of Doubt) becomes symbolic for where Roosevelt is in his personal life at that time. This is a story of boldness and courage, but also the story of a man acting out on his personal crisis - seeking catharsis and rejuvenation. In the end... you'll have to read whether he emerges revived or aged from this incredible journey. Candice Millard's writing style is picturesque and engaging. Her descriptions of the Amazon's beauty and brutality are unforgettable. But most importantly - she shows us the inner workings of an American icon fighting the fact that his star was falling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazingly detailed research and tightly written. A great portrait of Roosevelt and his son Kermit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great adventure made me feel like I was there. One of America's greatest presidents.
VisionaryJG More than 1 year ago
Recently PBS ran a documentary based on the book Destiny of the Republic by author (and my neighbors daughter-in-law) Candice Millard. She also wrote this book, River of Doubt about Theodore Roosevelt's trip down an unknown 2,000 mile section of the Amazon. All that said.... I'm a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan and thus generally I don't read biographic texts. But, never have I been captivated by the subject matter and the authors prowess at story telling. These two books are amazing, informative, entertaining and a wonderful historical record of two of our most interesting early presidents. The book print is a bit small for my aging eyes so next book she publishes in September will be electronic so I can increase the type size. I hope you get the opportunity to read her work.
ann-meyer More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorite books as is Candice Millard's more recent - Destiny of the Republic.  I could not put this one down!!!!!!   It is a story of one of our most adventurous presidents and his ill-prepared trip down the Amazon after his presidency.    I have shared this book with many, many people (owned three copies over the years) and have received nothing but raves from them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By the time I was done reading this book, I had made a list of 50 things I wanted to do more research on. This is a fantastic story! And it's great to learn some not very well known yet important things about a very well known and important American historical figure. If you read a review that says reader was bored, know that the review came from a intensely boring person!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a fascinating book.  Good questions for discussion groups also.  4 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.