AGAINST ALL ODDS: Pioneers of South America by Marion F. Lansing
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AGAINST ALL ODDS: Pioneers of South America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a grand book which should interest many adults. Illustrated by William Sharpe, it is a series of fascinating stories about all kinds of pioneers in our sister continent, well written, it is absorbing reading. First, you get the amazing searches for El Dorado, the Gilded Man, stories of whom brought out such greediness in the Spaniards. Fantastically enough three expeditions, unknowing of the others, met in Bogota; Quesada, who started with eight hundred up the Magdalena, arrived with one hundred and sixty-six,and founded the city of Bogota; Balalazar who came from Quito; and Captain Nicholas Federmann who took four years to get there from Venezuela. The second story is about Father Fritz, who mapped the Amazon. He civilized and opened up many new regions. Then there is a chapter on the coming of the horse, Pizarro had twenty-seven in his conquest of Peru. Horses were left on the pampas, the herds increased by leaps and bounds, bringing in a new type of cow-boy, the Gaucho. Then you learn about dyewood and diamonds in Brazil; about Charles de la Condamine, a Frenchman who in 1736 experimented with rubber, waterproofed his own shoes, and later brought quinine plants home to his king; about Don Ambrosio O'Higgin, an Irishman who settled in Chile and worked so hard to put through roads. Naturally you find Bolivar, the Liberator, San Martin who took his army across the Andes from Argentina to Chile, Bernard O'Higgin, who created a navy. There is a great man from Newburyport, Massachusetts, one William Wheelwright, whose statue stands in Valparaiso. He performed miracles to bring steam navigation, railroads and the telegraph to South America. Another American is Henry Meiggs who said ""anywhere a llama goes I can take a train"" and started the Callao-Lima-Oroya Railroad. Charles Darwin at the age of twenty-two visited South America and discovered a great amount about its flora and construction, and there is also Richard Spruce, the botanist. Finally there are Santos-Dumont, the pioneer aviator; Sarmiento , the schoolmaster president of the Argentine, friend of Horace Mann, a man like Theodore Roosevelt; and Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, who fought yellow fever and cleaned up the city of Rio.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1942
Publisher: Doubleday, Doran