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Andes. Michael Jacobs


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MICHAEL JACOBS was born in Italy and studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute in London. He is the author of several travel books, and was short-listed for the 2004 Thomas Cook prize. He lives in Spain and London.

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A fascinating journey southwards along the world's longest mountain range, exploring the diverse geography and cultures of the terrain, and the compelling stories of Andean travellers past and present.

About the Author

Michael Jacobs was born in Italy and studied at the Courtauld Institute in London. He is the author of several travel books, and was short-listed for the 2004 Thomas Cook Prize. He lives in Spain and London.


Following in the footsteps of "The Liberator" Simon Bolivar and explorer/naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, Jacobs meanders the entire length of the Andes, interweaving his own travels with the postcolonial history of South America. Having previously visited much of the continent before writing Ghost Train Through the Andes (2006), he skips over the tourist hot spots, favoring places with a Bolivar or Humboldt connection. Clearly well versed in South American exploration and travel literature, Jacobs liberally and aptly weaves relevant quotes into the narrative, giving the reader a broader first-person experience from the last few centuries. However, he also reports anthropological guesswork and the tales of tour guides as fact, undermining the accuracy of the book. Verdict Readers looking for a lighter South American travelog should choose Matthew Parris's Inka Kola: A Traveller's Tale of Peru. Those wanting an authoritative or comprehensive history of the continent will appreciate the suggestions in Jacobs's "Further Reading" section. Despite its length, this book will interest general readers who like the history/travel mix and those looking for background information on South America.-Sheila Kasperek, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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