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HISTORY OF RUBBER IN THE SOUTHERN AMAZON, July 23, 2006
This book claims to cover the history of the Amazon rubber boom. Setting such high expectations, the book fails to deliver such an all-encompassing story, rather focusing on the history of occupation of a small portion of the southern Amazon and its impact on the rubber boom.
The state of Acre (today in Brazil) has an interesting story, first as part of Bolivia, then as an independent country, then disputed by Brazil, flirting with the US and finally joining Brazil when Bolivia tried to claim it back. It is the smallest state in the Brazilian Amazon and during the rubber boom was said to have the best quality rubber in the world. The story revolves largely around Nicolas Suarez, the great rubber baron of Bolivia who himself tried to retain Acre in Bolivia's hands with a private militia.
The book is interesting, and hence the 3 stars, but it does not cover the subject of the title. Also, the book has pictures of the author's family and tells the story of his family's involvement in Latin America in general, with no particular point to the story in the book.