Format Hardcover
Publication Date 03/05/24
ISBN 9781639365579
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 288

Request a review copy or press kit

River Without a Cause

An Expedition through the Past, Present and Future of Theodore Roosevelt's River of Doubt

Sam Moses

A riveting journey down Theodore Roosevelt's "river of doubt" with a diverse crew of adventurers, scientists, and Indigenous leaders who shine light on the past, present, and future of a natural wonder.

Sam Moses took part in the adventure of a lifetime when he, along with seventeen men and two women, embarked on the Rio Roosevelt Expedition. They would follow the former president's wake down five-hundred miles of extreme whitewater into the dark heart of the Amazon. The party was guided by two chiefs from the Cinta Larga tribe—the same tribe that stalked Roosevelt’s expedition in 1914—who, between rapids, tell the story of the tribe’s own Trail of Tears.

After the wildest whitewater is past, Moses travels with the chiefs to their village to witness the massive illegal mahogany logging from their forest, the Roosevelt Indigenous Territory. River Without a Cause puts us in the raft during those heart pounding rapid descents, as we experience the drama, dynamics and disputes between the Bull Moose and his co-leader, Brazil’s most famous explorer, the rigid Colonel Candido Rondon. As the Amazon stands on the precipice of hope with the election of a new Brazilian president, River Without a Cause is a moving and galvanizing tale of adventure that is a fitting tribute to this world wonder.

Sam Moses is the author of the acclaimed race-driving memoir, Fast Guys, Rich Guys and Idiots, as well as At All Costs: How a Crippled Ship and Two Merchant Mariners Turned the Tide of World War II, done through long letters home, and a parenting memoir, It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This.  A former senior writer for Sports Illustrated, he began writing, as a U.S. Navy Seaman on a heavy cruiser engaged in shore bombardment of Vietnam, long letters home. He lives in an eco village on the Indonesian island of Lombok, and Hood River, Oregon in summer. 

Buy it now in print:

Buy it now in ebook:

Endorsements & Reviews

“A retracing of the Roosevelt-Rondon journey, led by the American newspaper publisher Charlie Haskell and his wife, Elizabeth McKnight, this 19-member group included Tweed Roosevelt, TR’s great-grandson, as well as Mr. Moses. Provides an instructive glimpse of the Amazon today as agricultural, logging and mining interests continue to push into the rainforest and jeopardize the lives of its inhabitants. Whereas deforestation in Brazil surged under the recent administration of Jair Bolsonaro, it has slowed since the 2022 re-election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Mr. Moses ends his book with an image of Rondon’s spirit rising from the grave and cheering." The Wall Street Journal
"An expedition follows in the footsteps of a century-old Amazon River adventure taken by naturalist and former president Theodore Roosevelt. Satisfyingly, the expedition succeeded in finding spots visited by President Roosevelt and his associate and guide, the brilliant Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon." Kirkus Reviews
"With verve and empathy, author and former Navy Seaman Moses gives WWII's Operation Pedestal, "the most heavily defended and heavily attacked naval convoy in history," its first book-length treatment since Peter Smith's 1970 volume. An exciting, imperative read." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A riveting tale of true American grit.... Highly recommended." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review 
"A first-class retelling of the story of Operation Pedestal. Any proper account of Operation Pedestal and its salvation of Malta will read like a novel by the late Alistair MacLean, but Moses here has marshaled the research and exercised the writing skills to produce a solid addition to WWII naval literature by anyone's lights." Booklist