The Third Bank of the River: Power and Survival in the Twenty-First-Century Amazon

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Brazil his a darker side. And why not? Embracing the world’s largest watershed, with a breathtaking statue welcoming new arrivals to Rio de Janeiro and with Brasilia’s stunning architecture hewn out of the jungle, there has to be more. And so there is. In the country’s interior, beyond the capitol, environmentalists suffer an enduring headache as they protest deforestation and mourn the loss of indigenous people and their coping skills.

Chris Feliciano Arnold, exploring the mighty state of Amazonia, tells horror stories of mayhem and massacre involving persistent and violent attempts to exterminate tribal peoples, the violence unmatched by TV exposés of brutal behavior elsewhere on the globe. Born in Brazil and raised in the United States, journalist Arnold traveled to his homeland for the 2014 FIFA world soccer finals. After celebrations shared with even the poorest fans, he sought “the real Brazil” to learn how endangered indigenous peoples, confronting alien ways since the first Europeans came to exploit raw materials for Portuguese royalty, have died of unfamiliar diseases and extraordinarily brutal assassination of their families, a cruelty travelers were to ignore–“Para Ingles ver,” or “Keep visitors from seeing!”

This is not to say The Third Bank of the River isn’t a splendid book. Arnold’s research has been exemplary and courageous. After he tackled river trips and city stops, checking the veracity of do-good organizations behind challenging acronyms, he has written a saga unmatched by fictitious violence. In the past, good guys became tempted to do bad, and in our time, a shortage of funds to combat drug traffickers and forest demolishers makes for more villains than heroes. Readers not overwhelmed by squeamish details of butchery and torture will devour The Third Bank of the River yet simultaneously resent negative views about a great country as it enters the global stage.

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Author Chris Feliciano Arnold
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Picado
Publish Date 2018-Jun-05
ISBN 9781250098948
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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