Knowing I liked Presidential histories, my friend Ivanna gave me a book for Christmas called The River of Doubt. It's about Theodore Roosevelt's expedition to explore the Amazon not long after he lost the 1912 election.
No mere political bio, this book reads like the kind of outdoor adventure story Jon Krakauer would tell. The trip was a triumph of the age of exploration, an achievement so impressive that many doubted Roosevelt's account of it. An important 1,000-mile long tributary of the Amazon was charted. On the way, the expedition had to grapple with hostile Indians, devastating rapids, outbreaks of cholera, man-eating fish, hunger, dissension and even a murder in their ranks. Roosevelt himself comes to the cusp of death. Other leading characters include Roosevelt's son Kermit and the very formidable co-commander of the expedition, the Brazilian Candido Rondon. Both these two could match our 26th President for strength of will.
Martin Scorsese has announced his intention to make a film out of Edmund Morris's excellent book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. He has chosen to concentrate on Roosevelt's time with the Rough Riders fighting the Spanish-American War. The question is, why make only one film? This, the most colorful of all our Presidents, could provide the grist for ten different movies. The "River of Doubt" episode could be certainly be one of them. This book is recommended!