Life and Death in the Andes: On the Trail of Bandits, Heroes, and Revolutionaries
Unique portraits of legendary characters along South America's mountain spine, from Charles Darwin to the present day, told by a master traveler and observer. The Andes Mountains are the world's longest mountain chain, linking most of the countries in South America. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Kim MacQuarrie takes us on a historical journey through this unique region, bringing fresh insight and contemporary connections to such fabled characters as Charles Darwin, Pablo Escobar, Che Guevara, and many others. He describes the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, where people's lives depend entirely on a reed that grows there. He introduces us to a Patagonian woman who is the last living speaker of her language, as he explores the disappearance and sometimes surprising resiliency of indigenous cultures throughout the Andes. He meets a man whose grandfather witnessed Butch Cassidy's last days in Bolivia, tracks down the ballet dancer who once hid the leader of the brutal Shining Path in her home, and hears a harrowing story from the school teacher who gave Che Guevara his final meal. Through the stories he shares, MacQuarrie raises such questions as, where did the people of South America come from? Did they create or import their cultures? What makes South America different from other continents--and what makes the cultures of the Andes different from other cultures in South America? Why did Peru's Shining Path leader Guzmán nearly succeed in his revolutionary quest while Che Guevara in Bolivia so quickly failed? And what so astounded Charles Darwin in South America that led him to conceive the theory of evolution? Deeply observed and beautifully written, Life and Death in the Andes shows us this land as no one has before.
"In this vivid, engaging hybrid of travel and history, Kim MacQuarrie proves to be the ideal companion on a trip the length of South America--a land where past and present are inseparable."--Mark Adams, author of TURN RIGHT AT MACHU PICCHU: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Few writers know the mountainous spine of South America better than Kim MacQuarrie, and fewer still can match the richness, verve, and competence he brings to his work. Whether focused on Darwin's extraordinary journey through icy Patagonia or the demise of Che Guevara in Bolivia, MacQuarrie displays an unfailing talent for great storytelling and an exceptional depth of knowledge. "Life and Death in the Andes" is a beautifully crafted book that brings to vivid life one of the most spectacular and mysterious landscapes on the planet. --Scott Wallace, author of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes"
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