The Scramble for the Amazon and the "Lost Paradise" of Euclides da Cunha

The Scramble for the Amazon and the "Lost Paradise" of Euclides da Cunha

Susanna B. Hecht


The fortunes of the past due 19th century’s imperial and commercial powers relied on a unmarried uncooked material—rubber—with just one resource: the Amazon basin. And so all started the scramble for the Amazon—a decades-long clash that discovered Britain, France, Belgium, and the USA battling with and opposed to the hot international locations of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil for the forest’s riches. in the middle of this fight, Euclides da Cunha, engineer, journalist, geographer, political theorist, and one among Brazil’s so much celebrated writers, led a survey day trip to the farthest reaches of the river, one of the world’s most beneficial, risky, and little-known landscapes.
 
The Scramble for the Amazon tells the tale of da Cunha’s terrifying trip, the incomplete novel born from it, and the worldwide strife that shaped the backdrop for either. Haunted through his damaged marriage, da Cunha trekked via a stunning zone thrown into chaos by way of guerrilla conflict, ravenous migrants, and local slavery. the entire whereas, he labored on his masterpiece, a nationalist synthesis of geography, philosophy, biology, and journalism he named the Lost Paradise. Da Cunha meant his epic to unveil the Amazon’s explorers, spies, natives, and brutal geopolitics, yet, as Susanna B. Hecht recounts, he by no means accomplished it—his wife’s lover shot him lifeless upon his return.
 
At as soon as the biography of a unprecedented author, a masterly chronicle of the social, political, and environmental heritage of the Amazon, and an excellent translation of the remainder items of da Cunha’s undertaking, The Scramble for the Amazon is a piece of exciting highbrow ambition.

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