The third book this season on the Brazilian rain forest, this one by a British TV filmmaker and author who has been working in Brazil since the Fifties. At that time, Cowell accompanied the Villas Boas brothers on their ambivalent missions, cutting airstrips through the forest as the ""spearhead of development"" contacting Indian tribes to prepare them for and save them from the encroaching civilization. In the context of his personal experience on the expeditions, Cowell tells of tribes displaced, decimated by the white man's flu, and murdering each other--and of the heartbreaking trials of the colonists who were part of the Indians' problem. Later chapters deal with Cowell's view of the ranches, land speculation, and rubber-tappers (especially the work and death of Chico Mendes, whom Cowell befriended), and of the successful campaign against the World Bank's road investment. But these last items are covered with more detail and analysis in Andrew Revkin's The Burning Season (p. 637) and Alex Shoumat off's The World Is Burning (p. 923). This one contains closer, earlier, and more personal impressions of the Indians of the forest; and it has the extra draw of Cowell's forthcoming companion PBS-TV series of the same name.