Just months after being shot in the chest and failing to secure a third term as President of the United States, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt co-led an expedition to explore an uncharted river in the Amazon, the Rio da Dúvida. The river literally wasn't on the most detailed of world maps. This expedition put it there.
Unlike "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer or Whatever" this 1913-1914 epic adventure is non-fiction. And short of perhaps former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, I can't imagine a modern day politician risking life and limb in the way Teddy did for this one.
I've been on an audiobook tear lately and, "The River of Doubt" by Candice Millard tops my charts so far. I couldn't put it down.
I won't tell you who dies, who shoots who, or if the expedition survives. But I will say, at one point, a former President of the United States gets bit by a snake so poisonous that the conventional wisdom of the day was left to assume that particular bite victim instantly dead. Fortunately for Teddy he was wearing a thick enough pair of boots.
This book was recomended to me by a Santa Cruz, California couple I met in Bend, Oregon (Virginia and Marcus). They were a blast. Their great taste in books spilled over on to my bar tab as they wouldn't let me pay for a thing while out to dinner. Thank you both!
The "River of Doubt" was amplified for my situation in particular. As I finished the book set in South America's tropical rain forest, I was literally walking through North America's temperature rain forest, in the midst of a 24-hour snap of rain.
There was absolutely no way to approach self pity though while listening to an account of this journey. My feet dried off in a motel. Their shoes literally disintegrated.