The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

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Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers): First and foremost a very merry Happy Birthday to my bestie Sarah! ❤ To celebrate our birthdays and to see each other we are going on an adventure to Zion National Park, which you’ll get to hear all about next week!

After completing my last book adventure in ancient Egypt, my next trip through time will be a bit more modern and will take me to Theodore Roosevelt’s post Presidential trip through the Amazon. This is my second book by Millard, the first being Destiny of the Republic, and I find her narration and style being very pleasing for historical nonfiction. She truly captures the essence of the time and transports the reader back to the time period of her subject matter. While at some point in my education I knew that Roosevelt an adventurous side, especially during his youthful escapades through the Badlands, I had no clue that after he lost his bid for reelection he coped by undertaking a dangerous exploration to an unknown river of the Amazon. It is hard to comprehend current Presidents or political figures having the gumption, or perhaps freedom to undertake such a feat. Having previously read survival stories from the tropics, Lost City of Z and Lost in Shangri-La, I already had an inkling of the dangers that Roosevelt would be encountering and had to wonder, as I started The River of Doubt, that I would already have been told somewhere in my childhood lessons that a former President had died while exploring the Amazon. Millard highlights the social and political attitudes of the time as well as the strong personalities that make up this expedition.   Overall, The River of Doubt tells the fantastic tale of an exPresident of the United States’ harrowing voyage down a tributary of the Amazon River that is plagued with disaster after disaster that that leaves the reader in disbelief as the story and outcome seem too bizarre to be real.


  1. There were a lot of things about T. Roosevelt that seem too bizarre to be real. I have a biography about him on the way and this review just made me want to read it even more. Great review!

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  2. I’ve got a copy of this one and am looking forward to reading it! I also read Millard’s book Destiny of the Republic which was amazing. I read that book with my mouth open and texting my friend and saying “did you know this?”. I really enjoyed Destiny of the Republic and this one looks great too!

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    • If you enjoyed Destiny then you will definitely enjoy this one! I’m constantly peppering my husband and coworkers with the ‘Did you know…’ I just love all the random facts you gain from nonfiction books.

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  3. This is (embarrassingly) one of those books that I cannot remember if I read or not! I know I read one biography of Teddy Roosevelt, but I believe it was “The Big Burn” (which was amazing, btw). I have this book on my shelf, and I’m hoping that when I start reading it, I will quickly remember if I have read it or not! Thanks for the review!

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  4. Hi Sarah!
    I wanted you to know that I really have enjoyed reading your blog; I’ve been following it for a while and I think you are awesome at writing reviews and have fun, engaging posts! I nominated your blog for the Sunshine Blogger Awards so others can see how inspiring your blog is! Normally I don’t like these chain sorts of things, but I like how this one brings so much positivity to the blogging world so I decided to do it. You can check out the details here:

    Thank you again for maintaining such an awesome blog! Meg

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also read this book thinking like you that Roosevelt was exceptionally intrepid or perhaps temporarily stupid to undertake such a journey. Have you read about Alexander von Humboldt’s journeys in South America? There are similarly harrowing experiences in there. I remember when I visited Iguazu Falls reading a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt and wondering how she got there and why she went there at that time. Thanks for sharing a good review!

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  6. I read “The River of Doubt” ten years ago and loved the book. Because of it, I later read Edmund Morris’ three volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. If you have not read his biography of the former President, I recommend you do so.

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