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White Waters and Black

With a wicked eye for absurdities, Gordon MacCreagh recounts his adventures with eight "Eminent Scientificos" as they set out to explore the Amazon in 1923 without any idea of what lies ahead of them: rapids, malaria, monkey stew, and "dangerous savages." A combination of Twain’s The Innocents Abroad and a cautionary tale for explorers, this is one of the most honest accounts ever written of a scientific expedition.

"White Waters and Black is so irreverent and hilarious . . . one avidly reads to discover how, and even if, these inept innocents will survive new adventures. If I had to recommend only one expedition account to someone, I would select this one."—George B. Schaller

"Mr. MacCreagh has amply succeeded in his aim to write a tale of thrilling adventure well salted with humor."—New York Times

"[T]he highly unofficial account of an Amazon expedition that might have been staffed by the Marx Brothers. . . . [B]elly-shakingly funny."—Washington Post Book World

"[An] amusing, often exciting and ever icon-shattering book. . . . [A] classic in explorational literature."—Explorers Journal

335 pages | 40 halftones, 1 map | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 1926, 1954, 1985, 2001

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Biography and Letters

Biological Sciences: Ecology

Table of Contents

Biographical Note
I. An Ambitious Expedition
II. The Way of the Organizer is Hard
III. Wise Men Out of the North
IV. The High Cordillera
V. Down Trails of Discovery
VI. Dissension in the Camp
VII. An Inexplicable Habitation
VIII. Tribulations of Camping
IX. Scientificos at Large
X. An Inaccessible Paradise
XI. The Promised Land
XII. Marooned on a Desert Isle
XIII. Deliverance Long Delayed
XIV. Impedimenta
XV. White Water
XVI. Super-Rivermen
XVII. A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey
XVIII. Camps of Allure
XIX. Huachi and the Mission
XX. Junglecraft
XXI. Good-by to the Hills
XXII. Rurrenabaque
XXIII. Pampa and Swamp
XXIV. The Unknown Lake
XXV. From White Water to Black
XXVI. Manáos, the Mushroom that Died
XXVII. The Black Water
XXVIII. The Debatable Country of Up-River
XXIX. Mainly About Bugs
XXX. Good Men and Bad
XXXI. An Up-River King
XXXII. An Affable Murderer
XXXIII. Adventure with a Vengeance
XXXIV. Renunciations and Revisions
XXXV. Delightful Bad Indians
XXXVI. The Drug That Makes Men Brave
XXXVII. Side-Lights
XXXVIII. The Inevitable Catastrophe

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