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Tree of Rivers:  The Story of the Amazon

Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon
John Hemming
New York, NY : Thames & Hudson, Inc., 2008
F2546 .H46 2008

Amazonia is one of the most magnificent habitats on earth. Containing by far the world's largest river, with more water and a broader basin than any other, it hosts a great expanse of tropical rain forest, home to the planet's most luxuriant biological diversity.

The human beings who settled in the region ten thousand years ago learned to live well with its bounty of fish, game and vegetation. It was not until 1500 that Europeans first saw the Amazon, and, unsurprisingly, the rain forest's unique environment has attracted larger-than-life personalities through the centuries. John Hemming recalls the adventures and misadventures of intrepid explorers, fervent Jesuit ecclesiastics and greedy rubber barons who enslaved thousands of Indians in the relentless quest for profit. He also tells of nineteenth-century botanists, fearless advocates for Indian rights and the archaeologists and anthropologists who have uncovered the secrets of the Amazon's earliest settlers.

Hemming discusses the current threat to Amazonia as forests are destroyed to feed the world's appetite for timber, beef and soya. The rain forest is crucial for earth's survival, and he vividly describes the passionate struggles that have taken place in order to utilize, protect and understand the wonder that is the Amazon.

Quoted from dustjacket.