It's "The River of Doubt--Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey,"(2006) by Candice Millard, a former editor and writer for National Geographic. I couldn't pass it up, and while Joyce said the book would tire you out, I found it a fascinating narrative and compelling story, my 13th book of the year.
In addition to the story about Roosevelt, Millard packs the book with information about the Amazon jungle, including the origin of the name "Amazon." In addition, there's much about the animal and plant life of the area, including the evolution of trees, insects, fish and more. Did you know that ants make up about 10 percent of the entire Amazon biomass? That's a lot of insects.
The trip almost killed Roosevelt--more than once, and in fact may have weakened him, I think, so much that it led to his early death. He lost more than 50 pounds on the trip--one fourth of his weight.
Everything went wrong on the trip--inadequate and wrong supplies, having to travel in dugouts rather than boats, innumerable rapids, attacks by Indians, drowning, murder, and near starvation. Of the 19 men on the expedition, only 16 returned.
The river was later name El Rio Roosevelt.
|So ill he couldn't sit up in the dugout, TR suffered under a makeshift tent, weeks from rescue. From caption in the book.|