Book ID: CBB001551649

The Scramble for the Amazon and the “Lost Paradise” of Euclides da Cunha (2013)


Hecht, Susanna B. (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2013
Physical Details: xv + 612 pp.; ill.; maps
Language: English

The fortunes of the late nineteenth century's imperial and industrial powers depended on a single raw material - rubber - with only one source: the Amazon basin. And so began the scramble for the Amazon - a decades-long conflict that found Britain, France, Belgium, and the United States fighting with and against the new nations of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil for the forest's riches. In the midst of this struggle, Euclides da Cunha, engineer, journalist, geographer, political theorist, and one of Brazil's most celebrated writers, led a survey expedition to the farthest reaches of the river, among the world's most valuable, dangerous, and little-known landscapes. The Scramble for the Amazon tells the story of da Cunha's terrifying journey, the unfinished novel born from it, and the global strife that formed the backdrop for both. Haunted by his broken marriage, da Cunha trekked through a beautiful region thrown into chaos by guerrilla warfare, starving migrants, and native slavery. All the while, he worked on his masterpiece, a nationalist synthesis of geography, philosophy, biology, and journalism he named the Lost Paradise. Da Cunha intended his epic to unveil the Amazon's explorers, spies, natives, and brutal geopolitics, but, as Susanna B. Hecht recounts, he never completed it - his wife's lover shot him dead upon his return. At once the biography of an extraordinary writer, a masterly chronicle of the social, political, and environmental history of the Amazon, and a superb translation of the remaining pieces of da Cunha's project, The Scramble for the Amazon is a work of thrilling intellectual ambition.

Reviewed By

Review Harris, Mark (2015) Review of "The Scramble for the Amazon and the “Lost Paradise” of Euclides da Cunha". Imago Mundi: A Review of Early Cartography (pp. 114-115). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Dalia Deias
Foliard, Daniel
Redondo, José María García
Rugy, Marie de
Novaes, André Reyes
Emiralioglu, Mevhibe Pinar
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Journal of Historical Geography
Imago Mundi: A Review of Early Cartography
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Cartographica Helvetica
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
The University of Chicago Press
University of Notre Dame Press
Univ. Chicago Press
Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by University of North Carolina Press
Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne
Maps; atlases
Great Britain, colonies
France, colonies
Herrman, Augustine
Cunha, Luiz da
Foucault, Michel
d'Anville, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon
Cunha, Euclides da
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
17th century
20th century
16th century
20th century, early
South Africa
Great Britain
Observatoire de Paris

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