To learn more about the Amazon rainforest, we recommend the following articles, books, films and videos:
Research and Articles
A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro, by Alfred Russel Wallace, published in 1895, is the Amazon travel memoir of the author, a biologist and colleague of Charles Darwin.
Wizard of the Upper Amazon: The Story of Manuel Córdova-Rios, by F. Bruce Lamb, published in 1993, documents life among a South American indigenous tribe. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Floods of Fortune: Ecology and Economy Along the Amazon, by Michael Goulding, published in 1995, features natural history and economy of the region.
One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, by Wade Davis, published in 1997, is the story of two generations of scientific explorers.
The Amazon River Forest: A Natural History of Plants, Animals, and People, by Nigel Smith, published in 1999, examines the culture and nature of the region.
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard, published in 2006, chronicles the Amazon journey of the former US president after his 1912 election defeat. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Territorial Policies in the Amazon, by Neli Aparecida de Mello, published in 2006 in Portuguese, explores Amazon policies starting from 1970 with specific focus on government programs and multilateral development programs developed after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
The Last Forest: The Amazon in the Age of Globalization, by Mark London and Brian Kelly, published in 2007, follows the transformation of the region and the conflict between development and conservation.
The Gold Book of the Amazon, by Augusto Meirelles, published in 2009 in Portuguese, brings the people, biodiversity and myths of the amazon up for reflection while considering the threats they face.
Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon, by John Hemming, published in 2009, explores the history of the region through key personalities – explorers, archaeologists, botanists, etc.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, by David Grann, published in 2009, is a modern study of the 1925 journey of a British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Deep Jungle: Journey to the Heart of the Rainforest, by Fred Pearce, published in 2010, examines the biodiversity of rainforests and considers their future.
River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon, by Buddy Levy, published in 2011, tells the story of a 16th century explorer in the Amazon. (Available as an Audiobook.)
The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon, by Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn, published in 2011, reports about the destruction of the forest and solutions.
Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America, by Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata, published in 2011, features essays on habitats, ecology, plants and animals.
Management of the Amazon: Assets, Policies and Proposals, by Jacques Marcovitch, published in 2011 in Portuguese, explores management of the Amazon biome while considering biodiversity, water, deforestation, social challenges and other contemporary controversies.
Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time, by Ed Stafford, published in 2012, reveals one man’s history-making journey down the full length of the Amazon river. (Available as an Audiobook in Danish.)
The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes, by Scott Wallace, published in 2012, documents the true story of a journey to track an uncontacted indigenous people.
Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon, by Paul Rosolie, published in 2015, is the autobiographical story of a young explorer in the Amazon wilderness. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle, by Daniel Everett, published in 2017, features the story of the author, a missionary, learning from the Pirahã tribe and losing his religion. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Amazonia: An Economy of Nature Knowledge, by Ricardo Abramovay, published in 2019 in Portuguese, dispels the notion that economic growth in the Amazon requires deforestation.
The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Mark Plotkin, published in 2020, presents an overview of the ecosystem and the challenges that face it.
Films, Documentaries and Other Videos
Several feature films and documentaries help to tell the story of Amazon conservation, including:
The Emerald Forest, released in 1985, tells the story of a Westerner who grows up as part of an Amazon tribe and re-enters urban civilization in search of family
Banking on Disaster, released in 1988 by Bullfrog Films, documents the consequences of paving a road into the Amazon
Killing for Land, released in 1990, shares the journey of poor farmers who migrate to the Amazon as homesteaders
The Fate of the Kidnapper, released in 1999, tells the story of a homestead family and the Uru Eu Wau Wau tribe
Return from Extinction, released in 1999, documents the invasion, disappearance and return of the Indigenous Panara tribe
The Shaman’s Apprentice, released in 2001, follows an ethnobotanist in the Amazon searching for plants that heal
They Killed Sister Dorothy, released in 2007 by HBO, tells the story of Sister Dorothy Stang, her defense of the Amazon, and the trial that followed her assassination.
Crude, released on 2009, reports about a class action lawsuit against the Chevron Corporation for oil pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon
10th Parallel, released in 2011 by Icarus Films, documents a journey of contact with uncontacted tribes in Brazil
Fight for Amazonia, released in 2012 by Al Jazeera, follows Brazil’s youngest national park director as she declares war on drug gangs and the logging mafia
Oil and Water, released in 2014 by Bullfrog films, tells the story of two young leaders and oil exploration in the Ecuadorean Amazon
Toxic Amazon, released in 2014 by Vice, documents the link between deforestation and slavery.
Embrace the Serpent, released in 2015, dramatizes the journeys of an ethnographer, a shaman and a botanist through the Amazon in search of the rare plant yakruna
River of Gold, released in 2016 by the Amazon Aid Foundation, documents the problem of illegal gold mining in the Amazon
Belo Monte After the Flood, released in 2017, documents the controversial dam on the Xingu river.
The Crying Forest, released in 2017 by Al Jazeera, documents the story of activist Jose Ribeiro da Silva who died protecting the Amazon forest
Creatures of the Amazon Rainforest, released in 2017 by National Geographic, documents the biodiversity of the region
Aruanas, released in 2019, is a fictional TV series about NGO activists who investigate illegal miners in the Brazilian Amazon
REBBL with a Cause, released in 2019, tells the creation story of REBBL tea in the Peruvian Amazon to ‘wild harvest” Brazil nuts, generate income, prevent human trafficking and conserve forests
The Condor and the Eagle, released in 2020, follows the trip of indigenous leaders from North America to the Amazon people from the North and South for climate justice
Guardians of the Amazon, released in 2020 by ABC News, documents an indigenous group working to prevent illegal logging
The Story of the Siege of the Amazon, released in 2020 by Friends of the Earth Brazil, documents the resistance of local Amazonians against the illegal advances of industry in the time of COVID19
Takeout, released in 2020, chronicles Amazon forest fires, their causes, and recent deforestation trends while exploring food choices, greed, political corruption and other criminal activities.
Martírio: 40 Years of Struggle for Survival, released in 2020, explores genocide of the Guaraní Kaiowá people, their conflict with agribusiness, and their demand of the Brazilian Congress to recognize their land and halt evictions. (Screenings)
Yasuni Man, released in 2020, features the life and journey of the Waorani people of Ecuador, their nature and their struggle for conservation and survival against the advances of the oil industry. (Website)
Antamiki, released in 2020 by the Environmental Investigation Agency and REVERB, follows a group of musicians to the Peruvian Amazon to learn about illegal logging from indigenous leaders.