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Describes the passionate struggles that have taken place in order to utilize, protect and understand the wonder that is the Amazon. Hemming's riveting account recalls the adventures and misadventures down the centuries of the explorers, missionaries, indigenous Indians, naturalists, rubber barons, scientists, anthropologists, archaeologists, political extremists, prospectors and many more, who have been in thrall to the Amazon - the largest river in the world, with the greatest expanse of tropical rain forest and most luxuriant biological diversity on earth.