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The River Sea

The Amazon in History, Myth, and Legend

List Price: $15.95

November 8, 2011 | Paperback |  6 x 9, 256 Pages | ISBN 9781582437682
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“Many of these tales are filled with fascinating details about the region.” —Associated Press

Since its discovery by Europeans in 1500, explorers, visionaries, soldiers of fortune, men of God, scientists, and slavers have been drawn to the legendary Amazon. The River Sea is a sweeping chronicle of those brave souls, ranging from the Spanish seafarer Vicente Pinzón, who discovered the river, to contemporary heroes and heroines, like Sister Dorothy Stang and Chico Mendes, whose efforts to save the rain forest cost them their lives.

Among others in this vast cast of characters who people the drama of the Amazon is Francisco de Orellana, the first European to traverse the river from the Andes to the sea; the fiery priest Bartolomé de las Casas, defender of the indigenous peoples; the great scientist explorers Alexander von Humboldt and Alfred Russell Wallace; the madmen and psychopath Lope de Aguirre; and the Peruvian Evangeline, Isabel Godin, who in 1769 crossed the continent, braving the terrors of the jungles to reunite with her husband, whom she had not seen in twenty years.

The River Sea is a compelling account of five centuries of the history, the myths, and the legends of Río Amazonas, the most exotic and fascinating locale on Earth.

MARSHALL DE BRUHL is the author of Firestorm: Allied Air Power and The Destruction of Dresden; Sword of San Jacinto: A Life of Sam Houston; and coeditor of The International Thesaurus of Quotations. He was a book editor and publisher for many years, most notably of The Dictionary of American History and the Dictionary of American Biography. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.


“Faced with the enormous task of recounting the river’s history, myth and legend, Marshall De Bruhl… [focuses] on the stories of several of the most important expeditions into the largely untamed wilderness and summing it up with an overview of the issues facing the river and rain forest today… Many of these tales are filled with fascinating details about the region.” —Associated Press

“A whirlwind tour though the history of a vast foreign land.” —Kirkus

“This usefully depicts the imposing scale of the Amazon, from its width and length to its source in the craggy recesses of the Andes Mountains, as the daunting stage for the ambitions of those who would exploit it… Sequencing from botanists such as Alfred Russel Wallace to Amazonian economic conflicts over rubber and deforestation, De Bruhl empathetically regales readers with an Amazon that is alluring, intimidating, and ecologically fragile.” —Booklist

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