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In this book, Slater draws on her fifteen years of experience collecting stories and oral histories among many different groups of people in the Amazon. Throughout, the voices of contemporary Amazonians mingle with the analyses of such writers as Claude Levi-Strauss, Theodore Roosevelt, and nineteenth-century naturalist Henry Walter Bates. Slater argues us that these stories and ideas, together with an understanding of their origins and ongoing impact, are as critical as scientific analyses in the fight to preserve the rain forest.
Candace Slater is Marian E. Koshland Distinguished Professor and director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Dance of the Dolphin: Transformation and Disenchantment in the Amazonian Imagination (1994) and Stories on a String: The Brazilian Literatura de Cordel (California, 1989).