Tag Archives: South America

Tough Rides: Brazil: In To the Depths of the Amazon

Tough Rides BrazilTough Rides: Brazil: In To the Depths of the Amazon

by Ryan Pyle

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Join adventurer motorcyclist Ryan Pyle as he spends months exploring the most exciting and remote locations in Brazil. In his book Tough Rides: Brazil he takes us on the most incredible journey in an effort to better understand the stunning and complex country of Brazil. In the end, Ryan completed his circumnavigation of Brazil in sixty days, pushing himself beyond limits while also learning the helplessness of being trapped in the remote Amazon, hundreds of miles away from any help or assistance.

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Tristes Tropiques

claude levi strassTristes Tropiques

by Claude Levi Strauss

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This watershed work records Claude Levi-Strauss’s search for -a human society reduced to its most basic expression.- From the Amazon basin through the dense upland jungles of Brazil, Levi-Strauss found the societies he was seeking among the Caduveo, Bororo, Nambikwara, and Tupi-Kawahib. More than merely recounting his time in their midst, Tristes Tropiques places the cultural practices of these peoples in a global context and extrapolates a fascinating theory of culture that has given the book an importance far beyond the fields of anthropology and continental philosophy. The author’s fresh approach, sense of humor, and openness to the sensuous mystique of the tropics make the scientific thrust of the book eminently accessible.
Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009), the founder of structural anthropology, was born in Belgium and studied at the University of Paris. A member of the French Academy, he authored numerous works, including Structural Anthropology, The Savage Mind, and Myth and Meaning. Patrick Wilcken is the author of Claude Levi-Strauss: The Father of Modern Anthropology. He lives in London. John Weightman (1915-2004) and Doreen Weightman (d. 1985) together translated several important anthropological works of Claude Levi-Strauss and a book about Rousseau by Jean Guehenno.

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The Lost City of Z (Movie Tie-In): A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

thelostcityofZThe Lost City of Z (Movie Tie-In): A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

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In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless people perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called -The Lost City of Z.- In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for -Z- and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.

David Grann is a longtime staff writer at The New Yorker. He has written about everything from New York City’s antiquated water tunnels to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, from the hunt for the giant squid to the mysterious death of the world’s greatest Sherlock Holmes expert. His stories have appeared in several Best Americanwriting anthologies, and he has written for The New York Times MagazineThe AtlanticThe Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic.

-Suspenseful. . . . Rollicking. . . . Reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller. . . . The Lost City of Z is at once a biography, a detective story and a wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing that combines Bruce Chatwinesque powers of observation with a Waugh-like sense of the absurd. Mr. Grann treats us to a harrowing reconstruction of Fawcett’s forays into the Amazonian jungle, as well as an evocative rendering of the vanished age of exploration.- — The New York Times 


-Breathtaking. . . . Grann brings Fawcett’s remarkable story to a beautifully written, perfectly paced fruition. . . . Any writer who can breathe life into letters written by scientists in the early 1900s deserves more than a hat tip.- — The Los Angeles Times
-Thoroughly researched, vividly told. . . . Grann recounts Fawcett’s expeditions with all the pace of a white-knuckle adventure story. . . . A thrill ride from start to finish.- — The Washington Post

-In a hyperconnected and exhaustively charted world, here is a revelation about wildness and the mad desire to plunge into it. . . . Unfathomably riveting. . . . Grann wildly delivers the goods.- 
GQ

-Brilliant. . . . Impressively researched and skillfully crafted. . . . Grann makes abundantly clear in this fascinating, epic story of exploration and obsession, [that] the lethal attraction of the Amazon mystery remains strong.- 
The Boston Globe

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On a Wing and a Prayer: One Woman’s Adventure Into the Heart of the Rainforest

On a wing and a prayerOn a Wing and a Prayer: One Woman’s Adventure Into the Heart of the Rainforest by Sarah Woods

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When writer and intrepid traveler Sarah Woods set about discovering the jungles of Central and South America, her quest took her into some of the most remote tangles of vine-knotted jungles on the planet. In Panama’s rain-soaked Chiriqui highlands, she navigated seemingly impassable trails with a machete to reach quetzals with resplendent jewel-tone plumage.

Sarah sought the native wisdom of the indigenous Embera, deep in the Darien Jungle, in order to encounter the world’s largest and most powerful birds of prey–the elusive harpy eagle. Using razor-sharp talons to hunt and kill sloths and monkeys with deadly precision, these mammoth, winged dinosaurs hide a lesser-known, softer side: devoting great care to raising their young for the first two years of their lives. Seldom seen in the wild, Sarah struggled to demystify the fear-riddled legends and superstitions that earned the harpy eagle its name from early explorers.

Her voyage taught her much about the rich glories and mesmerizing spectacle of the natural world and also its challenges and dangers. She met the albino ‘moon children’ of Kuna Yala, swam in the Panama Canal, encountered left-wing guerrillas at the heart of Colombia’s five-decade conflict, and witnessed Amazonian beliefs and customs surrounding shape-shifting and the jungle afterlife. Sarah survived landslides, crash landings, mammoth floods, and culture clashes in mysterious untrodden lands, learning much about aspects of herself from the incredible wildlife and tribal peoples she encountered–arguably her biggest journey.”

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Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey Into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon

Mother of GodMother of God by Paul Rosolie

For fans of The Lost City of Z, Walking the Amazon, and Turn Right at Machu Picchu comes naturalist and explorer Paul Rosolie s extraordinary adventure in the uncharted tributaries of the Western Amazon a tale of discovery that vividly captures the awe, beauty, and isolation of this endangered land and presents an impassioned call to save it.

In the Madre de Dios Mother of God region of Peru, where the Amazon River begins its massive flow, the Andean Mountain cloud forests fall into lowland Amazon Rainforest, creating the most biodiversity-rich place on the planet. In January 2006, when he was just a restless eighteen-year-old hungry for adventure, Paul Rosolie embarked on a journey to the west Amazon that would transform his life.

Venturing alone into some of the most inaccessible reaches of the jungle, he encountered giant snakes, floating forests, isolated tribes untouched by outsiders, prowling jaguars, orphaned baby anteaters, poachers in the black market trade in endangered species, and much more. Yet today, the primordial forests of the Madre de Dios are in danger from developers, oil giants, and gold miners eager to exploit its natural resources.

In Mother of God, this explorer and conservationist relives his amazing odyssey exploring the heart of this wildest place on earth. When he began delving deeper in his search for the secret Eden, spending extended periods in isolated solitude, he found things he never imagined could exist. Alone and miniscule against a titanic landscape I have seen the depths of the Amazon, the guts of the jungle where no men go, Rosolie writes. But as the legendary explorer Percy Fawcett warned, the few remaining unknown places of the world exact a price for their secrets.

Thanks to fastidious journal-keeping that preserved a wealth of detail and emotion, Rosolie delivers an old-fashioned jungle adventure, one with rare immediacy and depth of feeling for the people and creatures he encounters. –“The Wall Street Journal””

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The Lost Tribes of Tierra del Fuego: Selk’nam, Yamana, Kawesqar

The Lost TribesThe Lost Tribes of Tierra del Fuego by Martin Gusinde

The German missionary Martin Gusinde arrived in Tierra del Fuego in 1919. Although his initial mission was to convert the Indians among whom he lived, Gusinde in fact ended up doing the very opposite: he was to become one of the first Westerners to be initiated into the Indians sacred rites. Over the course of five years, he studied the Alakaluf, Yamana, and Selknam peoples, travelling from the canals of western Patagonia to the great island of Tierra del Fuego. Gradually, the missionary became an anthropologist. Lost Tribes 3Gusinde’s isolation on this land at the end of the earth made his approach highly unique. Fascinated by what he saw, he took over a thousand photographs, all produced using a portable darkroom. The portraits he captured constitute a kind of genealogical and social tree. This book presents Gusinde’s photographs and research

Lost TribesFascinated by what he saw, Gusinde took more than one thousand photographs, all produced using a portable darkroom. Gusinde captured some truly extraordinary images that his contemporaries were unable to: feather-clad bodies sporting high headdresses made of bark, wrapped up in guanaco furs, or entirely covered with ritual paint, populating a landscape battered by wind, rain, and snow the heart of a natural world that Darwin had celebrated, not long before, for its wildness. A dazzling visual experience, Gusinde s photographs are a monument to the memory of the Tierra del Fuego people as well as an exceptional anthropological document. ”

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