The Amazon is not what it seems. Combining richly textured ethnographic research and original historical analysis, In Amazonia weaves a fascinating story that challenges us to rethink what we mean by “nature.”

Co-Winner, 2003 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, Society for Humanistic Anthropology
Honorable Mention, Sharon Stephens First Book Prize, American Ethnological Society
A Choice/American Library Association Outstanding Academic Title

Engagingly written, theoretically inventive, and vividly illustrated, In Amazonia introduces a diverse range of characters—from sixteenth-century explorers and their indigenous rivals to nineteenth-century naturalists and contemporary ecologists, logging company executives, and river-traders. A natural history of a different kind, the book shows how humans, animals, rivers, and forests all participate in the making of a region that remains today at the center of debates in environmental politics.

A new classic of the Amazon. Raffles impresses with his enormous scholarship and lyrical language. What we thought we knew of the Amazon and the reasons for its devastation will forever be changed by this rapturous soliloquy on the region.


Roberta Delson, Choice

A marvelously challenging and well-written book that represents a major piece of path-breaking research.


Latin American Research Review

This book is a ‘must read’ for all those interested in environmental history, ideas of nature, and the poetics and politics of place making.


Luciana Martins, Society & Space

Hugh Raffles has produced that rare species of academic writing, the unclassifiable book. Part ethnography, part history, and part meditation on the relationships between people and nature in Brazil, In Amazonia offers moments of fresh insight that merit wide attention in anthropology and beyond.


Michael F. Brown, Tipití

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