Through the Brazilian Wilderness
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (1858–1919) was the 26th President of the United States. He is famous for lively "cowboy" image, his wast range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive "Bull Moose" Party of 1912. Besides politician, Roosevelt was a soldier, explorer, big game hunter, conservationist, historian, author and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. After his presidency, Teddy underwent an expedition to explore and map the area around the 950-mile River of Doubt in the unknown regions of Brazil and Paraguay. This six-week "zoological reconnaissance" was carried out with his son Kermit, with whom he'd endure all manner of hardships including dangerous animals, strange insects, fever, dysentery, oppressive heat, and killer rapids. Roosevelt's popular 1913 book Through the Brazilian Wilderness is the resulting account of this adventure.
While he is often remembered for his macho, "Rough Rider" image, Teddy was also seriously dedicated to science and exploration. The expedition collected thousands of species of birds and mammals, while they mapped the uncharted tributaries of the Amazon. Another feature of this work is Roosevelt's excellent, if under-appreciated writing ability. Not only did he know the Latin names of his subjects, but his descriptions of wildlife are vivid and concise. This was T.R.'s last great adventure - he died five years later. In his honor the River of Doubt would be changed to Roosevelt River.
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