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Chris Feliciano Arnold


Chris Feliciano Arnold's The Third Bank of the River is a sweeping look at the war over the Amazon―as activists,locals, and indigenous tribes struggle to save it from the threat of loggers, drug lords, and corrupt cops and politicians

Following doctors and detectives, environmental activists and indigenous tribes, The Third Bank of the River traces the history of the Amazon from the arrival of the first Spanish flotilla to the drones that are now mapping unexplored parts of the forest. Grounded in rigorous firsthand reporting and in-depth research, Chris Feliciano Arnold reveals a portrait of Brazil and the Amazon that is complex, bloody, and often tragic.

During the 2014 World Cup, an isolated Amazon tribe emerged from the rain forest on the misty border of Peru and Brazil, escaping massacre at the hands of loggers who wanted their land. A year later, in the jungle capital of Manaus, a bloody weekend of reprisal killings inflame a drug war that has blurred the line between cops and kingpins. Both events reveal the dual struggles of those living in and around the world’s largest river. As indigenous tribes lose their ancestral culture and territory to the lure and threat of the outside world, the question arises of how best to save isolated tribes: Keep them away from the modern world or make contact in an effort to save them from extinction? As Brazil looks to be a world leader in the twenty-first century, this magnificent and vast region is mired in chaos and violence that echoes the atrocities that have haunted the rain forest since Europeans first traveled its waters.

"A valuable addition to contemporary reportage out of Brazil, which has understandably been dominated by the country's tumultuous politics, systemic corruption and rising middle class.... Arnold's account of the threats to indigenous communities―informed by a comprehensive and accessible litany of the abuses they have endured since colonial times―is the highlight of the book.”―Ernesto Londono, The New York Times Book Review

Chris Feliciano Arnold has written essays and journalism for The Atlantic, Harper's, Foreign Policy, Outside, Vice News, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Folha de S. Paulo, Salon, McSweeney's, The Millions and more. His fiction has been published in Playboy, The Kenyon Review, Ecotone and other magazines. His work has been noted in The Best American Sports Writing and The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a 2014 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he resides in northern California and teaches writing in the MFA programs at the University of San Francisco and Ashland University. 

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