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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

by Candice Millard
Product Details
Paperback: 353 pages
Publisher: Anchor Books
Date Published: 2005

Point: The love of adventure may make a man take dangerous steps, but the love of another will force one to live.
Path: This story chronicles a journey born in the mind of a bumbling priest, planted in the mind of a defeated ex-President, and carried out by a band of desperate men. Theodore Roosevelt, his son Kermit, Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon, George Cherrie, along with a group of Brazilian paddlers entered, suffered at the hand, and eventually traversed the brazilian River of Doubt. The story begins with T.R.’s defeat in the political realm after two terms of service as President of the United states. It ends with the eventual outcome of the expedition's participants.
Sources: The author utilizes a variety of sources and weaves together an interesting account. It reads more like an Indiana Jones script, than a historical account.
Agreement: I thoroughly enjoyed the story, both because of the author’s ability to write, and because it was a great adventure. I also profited from a glimpse into the life and drive of the famous Theodore. His solace was adventure. When defeated, he turned to harder feats. When in doubt, he fought harder. With no adventure, there was no life. This played out in the life of his son as well who meets a tragic end, much like Merriweather Lewis.
Disagreement: Millard seems to have an agenda for Evolution. Half of the book seemed to be taken up with how humans, animals, and plants are evolving in order to live. 
Personal App: For what am I fighting?
Favorite Quote: “As the men of the expedition looked up at the clear black sky above the River of Doubt, and marveled at the brilliant starts which pointed their way home, they neither knew nor likely even suspected who was actually responsible for their safe passage out of the jungle.” She was referring to the warriors of the Cinta Larga, but in reality it was God.
Stars: 4.5 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.

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Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:8)