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The scramble for the Amazon and the "Lost paradise" of Euclides da Cunha

Author: Susanna B Hecht
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2013
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The fortunes of the late nineteenth century's imperial and industrial powers depended on a single raw material - rubber - with only one source: the Amazon basin. And so began the scramble for the Amazon - a decades-long conflict that found Britain, France, Belgium, and the United States fighting with and against the new nations of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil for the forest's riches. In the midst of this struggle,  Read more...
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Named Person: Euclides da Cunha; José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior Rio Branco, Barão do; Euclides da Cunha; Euclides da Cunha; José Maria da Silva Paranhos do Rio Branco
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Susanna B Hecht
ISBN: 9780226322810 0226322815
OCLC Number: 910833694
Notes: 40022263873
Description: xv, 612 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Os sertões: the pre-Amazonian life of Euclides da Cunha --
A short prelude: from Os sertões to As selvas --
The unlikely protagonist --
The afterlife of revolution --
A quilombo called canudos --
Mud-walled Jerusalem, mud-walled Troy --
The scramble for the Amazon --
In the times of scrambles in the land of the Amazons --
Imperialisms, revolutions, and resolutions in the Caribbean Amazon --
"American Amazon" colonizations and speculations --
Wall street, rebels, and Rio Branco --
Peru, Purús, Brazil --
Euclides and the baron --
As selvas: into the litigious zones --
"Impressions completely new to me" --
"Such is the river, such is its history" --
In the realm of rubber --
Argonauts of the Amazon --
In hostile territory, part 1: official report of the joint boundary commission --
In hostile territory, part 2: ex-party report from Da Cunha to baron Rio Branco --
Cartographer at court --
Return of the native --
Maps, texts, and history --
"Events that perhaps lacked a historian": reflections and supplements to the formal report of the Joint Survey Commission --
Everyday forms of empire: the tropicalist ethnography of Euclides da Cunha --
Abyss and oblivion --
Killing dr. Da Cunha --
Hamlet's lament --
Illusions and oblivion --
A note on the text: fragments, translation, and photos
Responsibility: Susanna B. Hecht

Abstract:

The fortunes of the late nineteenth century's imperial and industrial powers depended on a single raw material - rubber - with only one source: the Amazon basin. And so began the scramble for the Amazon - a decades-long conflict that found Britain, France, Belgium, and the United States fighting with and against the new nations of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil for the forest's riches. In the midst of this struggle, Euclides da Cunha, engineer, journalist, geographer, political theorist, and one of Brazil's most celebrated writers, led a survey expedition to the farthest reaches of the river, among the world's most valuable, dangerous, and little-known landscapes. The Scramble for the Amazon tells the story of da Cunha's terrifying journey, the unfinished novel born from it, and the global strife that formed the backdrop for both. Haunted by his broken marriage, da Cunha trekked through a beautiful region thrown into chaos by guerrilla warfare, starving migrants, and native slavery. All the while, he worked on his masterpiece, a nationalist synthesis of geography, philosophy, biology, and journalism he named the Lost Paradise. Da Cunha intended his epic to unveil the Amazon's explorers, spies, natives, and brutal geopolitics, but, as Susanna B. Hecht recounts, he never completed it - his wife's lover shot him dead upon his return. At once the biography of an extraordinary writer, a masterly chronicle of the social, political, and environmental history of the Amazon, and a superb translation of the remaining pieces of da Cunha's project, The Scramble for the Amazon is a work of thrilling intellectual ambition. -- Book jacket

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