Jungle of Stone by William Carlsen audiobook

Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya

By William Carlsen
Read by Paul Michael Garcia

HarperCollins, HarperAudio 9780062407399
16.60 Hours Unabridged
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The acclaimed, New York Times-bestselling chronicle of the discovery of the legendary lost civilization of the Maya In 1839, rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world’s most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood—both already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome—sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they found would upend the West’s understanding of human history. In the tradition of Lost City of Z and In the Kingdom of Ice, former San Francisco Chronicle journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist William Carlsen reveals the remarkable story of the discovery of the ancient Maya. Enduring disease, war, and the torments of nature and terrain, Stephens and Catherwood meticulously uncovered and documented the remains of an astonishing civilization that had flourished in the Americas at the same time as classic Greece and Rome—and had been its rival in art, architecture, and power. Their masterful book about the experience, written by Stephens and illustrated by Catherwood, became a sensation, hailed by Edgar Allan Poe as “perhaps the most interesting book of travel ever published” and recognized today as the birth of American archaeology. Most important, Stephens and Catherwood were the first to grasp the significance of the Maya remains, understanding that their antiquity and sophistication overturned the West’s assumptions about the development of civilization. By the time of the flowering of classical Greece (400 b.c.), the Maya were already constructing pyramids and temples around central plazas. Within a few hundred years the structures took on a monumental scale that required millions of man-hours of labor, and technical and organizational expertise. Over the next millennium, dozens of city-states evolved, each governed by powerful lords, some with populations larger than any city in Europe at the time, and connected by road-like causeways of crushed stone. The Maya developed a cohesive, unified cosmology, an array of common gods, a creation story, and a shared artistic and architectural vision. They created stucco and stone monuments and bas reliefs, sculpting figures and hieroglyphs with refined artistic skill. At their peak, an estimated ten million people occupied the Maya’s heartland on the Yucatan Peninsula, a region where only half a million now live. And yet by the time the Spanish reached the “New World,” the Maya had all but disappeared; they would remain a mystery for the next three hundred years. Today, the tables are turned: the Maya are justly famous, if sometimes misunderstood, while Stephens and Catherwood have been nearly forgotten. Based on Carlsen’s rigorous research and his own 1,500-mile journey throughout the Yucatan and Central America, Jungle of Stone is equally a thrilling adventure narrative and a revelatory work of history that corrects our understanding of Stephens, Catherwood, and the Maya themselves.

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Summary

Summary

The acclaimed, New York Times-bestselling chronicle of the discovery of the legendary lost civilization of the Maya

In 1839, rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world’s most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood—both already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome—sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they found would upend the West’s understanding of human history.

In the tradition of Lost City of Z and In the Kingdom of Ice, former San Francisco Chronicle journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist William Carlsen reveals the remarkable story of the discovery of the ancient Maya. Enduring disease, war, and the torments of nature and terrain, Stephens and Catherwood meticulously uncovered and documented the remains of an astonishing civilization that had flourished in the Americas at the same time as classic Greece and Rome—and had been its rival in art, architecture, and power. Their masterful book about the experience, written by Stephens and illustrated by Catherwood, became a sensation, hailed by Edgar Allan Poe as “perhaps the most interesting book of travel ever published” and recognized today as the birth of American archaeology. Most important, Stephens and Catherwood were the first to grasp the significance of the Maya remains, understanding that their antiquity and sophistication overturned the West’s assumptions about the development of civilization.

By the time of the flowering of classical Greece (400 b.c.), the Maya were already constructing pyramids and temples around central plazas. Within a few hundred years the structures took on a monumental scale that required millions of man-hours of labor, and technical and organizational expertise. Over the next millennium, dozens of city-states evolved, each governed by powerful lords, some with populations larger than any city in Europe at the time, and connected by road-like causeways of crushed stone. The Maya developed a cohesive, unified cosmology, an array of common gods, a creation story, and a shared artistic and architectural vision. They created stucco and stone monuments and bas reliefs, sculpting figures and hieroglyphs with refined artistic skill. At their peak, an estimated ten million people occupied the Maya’s heartland on the Yucatan Peninsula, a region where only half a million now live. And yet by the time the Spanish reached the “New World,” the Maya had all but disappeared; they would remain a mystery for the next three hundred years.

Today, the tables are turned: the Maya are justly famous, if sometimes misunderstood, while Stephens and Catherwood have been nearly forgotten. Based on Carlsen’s rigorous research and his own 1,500-mile journey throughout the Yucatan and Central America, Jungle of Stone is equally a thrilling adventure narrative and a revelatory work of history that corrects our understanding of Stephens, Catherwood, and the Maya themselves.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Pulitzer Prize finalist Carlsen reconstructs the journey. Lots of in-house love for this one.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

by Alan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Deep In The Jungle Lies an Amazing Discovery

Jungle of Stone is an intriguing adventure of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in the deep jungles of what is now Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras for the search of the lost civilization of the Mayans. Dripping with grave details of the adventures of Stephens and Catherwood, you will easily feel as if you are discovering the ancient ruins yourself.

Jungle of Stone is put together extremely well and is based off of research from Stephen’s well detailed journals and Catherwood’s amazing illustrations of the journey as well. The simple concept of wondering into an aggressive jungle in the mid 1800’s to look for a lost civilization is either mad or brave. William Carlsen does an excellent job of surrounding you in the depths of the jungle. Carlsen quickly has you feeling every emotion that the adventurers felt and you can’t help but feel inspired by their determination.

Paul Michael Garcia does a wonderful job as the narrator. Garcia quickly sets the tone of the adventure and also changes it up to have you feel every emotion that Carlsen is attempting to portray. Again, Garcia does a wonderful job of separating each and every character and is flawless with giving the appropriate accents.

If you’re a fan of adventures, lost civilizations or even South America in general, get this book! You will not be disappointed. The only complaint I have is towards the end of the book. I understand what the author was attempting to do by giving a sense of closure and updates about Stephens and Catherwood’s life after the jungle discoveries. However, the closure drags on way too long in my honest opinion.

Author

Author Bio: William Carlsen

Author Bio: William Carlsen

William Carlsen is a journalist and writer who has worked for the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle and has taught journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. He was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory writing for a series of articles on the AIDS crisis. He lives in San Francisco and Antigua, Guatemala, from which he has retraced Stephens and Catherwood’s extraordinary journey.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 16.60
Audience: Adult
Language: English