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10 Reviews
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book - everyone should have a copy!, 17 April 2001
By A Customer
"One River" is one of the most fascinating and readable books about South America that I have ever come across. Although Wade Davis obviously intends his work to be a tribute to his mentor, Schultes, and his friend Tim Plowman, the book is much more than a mere botanical biography. Davis writes with great enthusiasm and combines subjects that continually entertain and inform the reader. The book is filled with true tales of adventures on the Amazon, encounters with jungle tribes, fanatical hunts for rare plants, and wild journeys through the remote Andes. Exploration, excitement and ethnobotany are skilfully blended with a well-researched history of South America. The reader is presented with a great deal of thought-provoking material about the past, present and future of this contradictory continent. HIGHLY recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating story, 24 May 2000
By 
Absolutely fascinating story of the Amazon this/last century. A fantastic chapter on the rubber boom and its side affects on the Amazon peoples. Also contains a chapter on the Waorani which the book is worth buying for alone as I learnt more on the Wao's from this chapter than I did from one whole book on the waorani by another author. This book does not contain one tedious moment between its two covers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depswa disclosed, 3 Feb 2006
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Anyone still doubting the superiority of fact over fiction need only take this book to a quiet corner and start reading. Wade Davis relates the stories of two Richards, Schultes and Spruce, plus his own in their respective excursions in the upper Amazon. Schultes, Davis' Harvard mentor, spent many years there seeking medicinal plants and new sources of rubber when access to Asian resins were lost during World War II. No work of fiction, including Hollywood's almost trifling account in the film "Medicine Man", can match the scope of what Schultes accomplished during his extensive travels. Schultes had the good sense to approach the Native American shamans with respect, dealing with them on their terms and not as a latter-day conquistador. They responded to his inquiries in kind, leading to countless new medicines for treating our "civilized" illnesses. He became a "depswa" - medicine man - sharing their rituals while gaining knowledge. Davis is able to use his close relationship with Schultes to provide an engrossing and detailed account of Schultes' career in the bush.
The second Richard is Schultes' own model. Richard Spruce came to the Upper Amazon from mid-Victorian England. Prompted by an inestimable source, Charles Darwin's account of the Beagle voyage, Spruce entered the Amazon country in 1849. Few of the celebrated explorers in Africa in the same period can match the perils Spruce faced and dealt with. As did his follower Schultes, Spruce avoided the overbearing colonialist image - his desires were achieved by finding new medicinal plants. Spruce dealt with the dispensers of drugs and their tales of visions incurred as an equal. In their turn they imparted valuable information leading to useful medicines. Clearly, both Schultes and Spruce operated as Davis stipulates: "botanists in the Amazon must come to peace with their own ignorance." As Schultes, Spruce and Davis himself demonstrate, the peaceful approach brings substantial rewards in information and experience.
Davis' own, modern, story enhances that of his mentor Schultes, carrying the research and adventure forward. Only the ability to travel further and faster than his teacher separates the two. Davis has a sensitive touch in describing the world of the Upper Amazon, its dense forests and often mysterious people. His grief at the loss of their culture is manifest, buttressed by a strong historical sense of what they once were. Certainly this account belies the image of the "detached" scientist scouring the forest's resources for personal gain. He is there to learn and to teach us. He accomplishes both with a fascinating narrative. This is a book to be treasured and read again. A single sitting with this book is but an introduction to this disappearing world. Read it and discover that adventure is not a lost experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!, 9 Dec 2005
By A Customer
Without doubt one of the most wonderful books I've ever read.
Exceptionally researched, really clever intertwining of the the personal experience, history and biography of the mentor.
A great writer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top book on colombia and rainforest, 10 Dec 2000
By A Customer
excellent read which inspires fear now that the gringos are talking of aerial spraying of the colombian rain forests. worth reading for the description of the value of the most biodiverse part of the planet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and enlightening, 3 Oct 2000
By A Customer
I too found this book amazing. I read it whilst working as a jungle guide in Peru and it was such a good companion. It was funny and interesting and sad and some of the history it described was shocking. Awesome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and enlightening read, 28 July 2013
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This is a book I really enjoyed, once started I did not want to put it down, however it is a book that I found I could easily return to, have already purchased another copy for friends of mine for their son after they read my copy. Fantastic information of many tribes in the Amazon Basin and their use of hullocogenics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 11 Feb 2013
By 
E. E. Smith "magyk1" (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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As described with Wade Davis' other books. An author with original thoughts and interpretations of experience.. of life on Earth. If only every man woman and child would read his works, there would be less propaganda and less dumbed down thoughtless 'following' of age-old tired-out worn-out paths of culture and society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted, 27 Jan 2013
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The delivery was a bit long but that was flagged so I wasn't left in limbo. Product arrived in perfect condition and I haven't got far but it is, so far, one of the best reads I've had in a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anybody interested in the Amazon, ethnobotany, and Dr. Schultes, 18 July 2014
By 
Simon Birksų Larsen "simon" (denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest (Paperback)
A must read for anybody interested in the Amazon, ethnobotany, and Dr. Schultes.
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One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest
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