The third bank of the river Power and survival in the twenty-first-century Amazon

Chris Feliciano Arnold, 1981-

Book - 2018

A veteran journalist evaluates the state of the war over the Amazon, tracing the efforts of environmental activists, locals, and indigenous tribes to save the jungle from the dangers of loggers, drug lords, and corrupt politicians.

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Subjects
Genres
Travel writing
Published
New York : Picador 2018.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 338 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 327-338).
ISBN
9781250098948
1250098947
Main Author
Chris Feliciano Arnold, 1981- (author)
  • Part I: A finite world
  • Fan fest
  • Isolation
  • A way back from oblivion
  • Site X
  • The real jungle
  • The Brazil reader
  • Wolves among sheep
  • The Devil's Paradise
  • Quarantine
  • Part II: How monsters are born
  • Biti's gang
  • Maximum power
  • The bloody weekend
  • a sense of security
  • Très fronteiras
  • Operation Wolfpack
  • Ghost riders
  • Part III: The Amazon clock
  • A land without men
  • City of vultures
  • Soul counts
  • Guardians
  • Last dance
  • The torch and the jaguar.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Photographs of South America's winding Amazon River often highlight the colorful greenery and wildlife living along its banks, painting an idyllic picture of this 4,300-mile waterway and the sprawling, ecologically rich region surrounding it. Yet, according to Brazilian-born journalist Arnold, the opulent jungle canopy barely conceals a dark underbelly of crime, political bribery, and environmentally devastating exploitation of the area's natural resources. Using Manaus, the Amazon basin's de facto capital city and center of Brazilian drug trade, as his starting point, Arnold focuses his attention on the rain forest's 100-plus threatened indigenous tribes and the shady businesses that regard these natives as roadblocks to development. Arnold contrasts the many ways corrupt loggers and miners are complicit in ethnic cleansing with accounts of the findings of the anthropologists who are trying to track and help these tribes. Arnold pulls few punches in this sobering account of the unfolding genocidal threat, adding another dark layer to the urgent story environmentalists are already telling about how the logging of rain forests is playing a drastically destructive role in climate change. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Arnold draws on his extensive reporting in the Brazilian Amazon and joins it with history, memoir, and travel writing in this well-crafted debut. The book starts with Arnold's recollection of covering the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches in Manaus, a city in the Amazon rainforest, and closes as the torch relay passes through Manaus ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. In between, Arnold provides snapshots of major news stories in the Amazon region: the emergence of an isolated indigenous tribe beset first by drug traffickers and then disease; a war between organized crime and rogue cops; and the aftereffects of a huge hydroelectric dam project. Arnold also includes contextual history (the original colonization by the Spanish and Portuguese, the atrocities of the rubber trade) and his own personal story of returning to Brazil, his birthplace, at 25 after being adopted as a child and raised in the U.S. Arnold handles all of the narrative strands expertly and shows a keen eye for detail ("A middle-aged woman with bottle-blonde hair, she entertained a few questions as she counted up the wrinkled bills in her cash register"). The reader leaves with a newfound understanding of the diversity, complexity, and corruption to be found in the modern Amazon. (June) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A veteran journalist evaluates the state of the war over the Amazon, tracing the efforts of environmental activists, locals, and indigenous tribes to save the jungle from the dangers of loggers, drug lords, and corrupt politicians.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A veteran journalist evaluates the state of the war over the Amazon, tracing the efforts of environmental activists, locals and indigenous tribes to save the jungle from the dangers of loggers, drug lords and corrupt politicians.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A sweeping look at the war over the Amazon—as activists,locals, and indigenous tribes struggle to save it from the threat of loggers, drug lords, and corrupt cops and politiciansFollowing doctors and detectives, environmental activists and indigenous tribes, The Third Bank of the River traces the history of the Amazon from the arrival of the first Spanish flotilla to the drones that are now mapping unexplored parts of the forest. Grounded in rigorous firsthand reporting and in-depth research, Chris Feliciano Arnold reveals a portrait of Brazil and the Amazon that is complex, bloody, and often tragic.During the 2014 World Cup, an isolated Amazon tribe emerged from the rain forest on the misty border of Peru and Brazil, escaping massacre at the hands of loggers who wanted their land. A year later, in the jungle capital of Manaus, a bloody weekend of reprisal killings inflame a drug war that has blurred the line between cops and kingpins. Both events reveal the dual struggles of those living in and around the world’s largest river. As indigenous tribes lose their ancestral culture and territory to the lure and threat of the outside world, the question arises of how best to save isolated tribes: Keep them away from the modern world or make contact in an effort to save them from extinction? As Brazil looks to be a world leader in the twenty-first century, this magnificent and vast region is mired in chaos and violence that echoes the atrocities that have haunted the rain forest since Europeans first traveled its waters.