The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure
By Carl Hoffman
Why this book?
Carl Hoffman’s book is a compelling read of other Westerners in Borneo. It’s a well-written account of a Swiss environmentalist and an American entrepreneur, both of my generation, who had vastly different experiences—and so different from mine. The former “goes native” while trying to save the forest and finally disappears without a trace. The latter manages to find the cultural treasures he is looking for but is blamed for exploiting the native tribes who produced them. The author learned all this by extensive travel to the region and up the rivers and jungles these men journeyed. The phrase “Wild Men of Borneo” originated from P.T. Barnum’s exploitation of mentally disabled dwarfs from Ohio, which adds clever and ironic twist to the author’s choice of title.
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