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New Worlds To Conquer: America's Most Dashing 1920s Adventurer Explores South America (Adventure Travel Classics)

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By the early 1930s America had one literary treasure that risked his life to please its readers. Richard Halliburton had already become a best-selling travel author and could have retired comfortably on the immense wealth gained from the sale of his first two books. Yet some men are born to dare, and Halliburton was one these. "New Worlds to Conquer" was Halliburton's thir By the early 1930s America had one literary treasure that risked his life to please its readers. Richard Halliburton had already become a best-selling travel author and could have retired comfortably on the immense wealth gained from the sale of his first two books. Yet some men are born to dare, and Halliburton was one these. "New Worlds to Conquer" was Halliburton's third book and contains a knapsack full of that adventurer's gold - dreams brought to reality by the alchemy of his courage and daring. The book details how Halliburton set off for Latin America in search of adventure, and find it he did. He dived to the bottom of the Mayan Well of Death, from which hundreds of skeletons had been dredged, then swam fifty miles down the length of the Panama Canal. Not content, he climbed to the crest of Mexico's lofty Mount Popocatepetl, twice, and roamed over the infamous Devil's Island. Yet his most amazing adventure occurred when he had himself marooned on the same island which had once held Robinson Crusoe captive. "Somewhere a lizard stirred the leaves ... Furtively I looked about me, realizing that in the darkness the boa-constrictors would be abroad creeping forth from the ancient tombs and slinking down the leafy avenues," Halliburton wrote. This is Halliburton at is best - fatalistic about his own safety, poetic about his chances of survival, and determined to bring home a hair-raising tale of adventure from the Latin lands of legend.


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By the early 1930s America had one literary treasure that risked his life to please its readers. Richard Halliburton had already become a best-selling travel author and could have retired comfortably on the immense wealth gained from the sale of his first two books. Yet some men are born to dare, and Halliburton was one these. "New Worlds to Conquer" was Halliburton's thir By the early 1930s America had one literary treasure that risked his life to please its readers. Richard Halliburton had already become a best-selling travel author and could have retired comfortably on the immense wealth gained from the sale of his first two books. Yet some men are born to dare, and Halliburton was one these. "New Worlds to Conquer" was Halliburton's third book and contains a knapsack full of that adventurer's gold - dreams brought to reality by the alchemy of his courage and daring. The book details how Halliburton set off for Latin America in search of adventure, and find it he did. He dived to the bottom of the Mayan Well of Death, from which hundreds of skeletons had been dredged, then swam fifty miles down the length of the Panama Canal. Not content, he climbed to the crest of Mexico's lofty Mount Popocatepetl, twice, and roamed over the infamous Devil's Island. Yet his most amazing adventure occurred when he had himself marooned on the same island which had once held Robinson Crusoe captive. "Somewhere a lizard stirred the leaves ... Furtively I looked about me, realizing that in the darkness the boa-constrictors would be abroad creeping forth from the ancient tombs and slinking down the leafy avenues," Halliburton wrote. This is Halliburton at is best - fatalistic about his own safety, poetic about his chances of survival, and determined to bring home a hair-raising tale of adventure from the Latin lands of legend.

30 review for New Worlds To Conquer: America's Most Dashing 1920s Adventurer Explores South America (Adventure Travel Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    This would be a great read for middle to high school for Geography. It was well written and at time funny.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shakir Sharfraz

    No one dares like Richard Halliburton and even better no one writes better than Richard Halliburton! He is a swash-buckling adventurers from early in the century. The author entices us with his tales of swim through the Panama Canal, Dive in to "Well of Death" in Yucatan, Roams around Devil's Island, pays tribute to Robin Crusoe and finds his own "Toosday". Bewildering set of adventures altogether. The most witty exchange happens when he shows up to get permission to swim through Panama Canal! Thi No one dares like Richard Halliburton and even better no one writes better than Richard Halliburton! He is a swash-buckling adventurers from early in the century. The author entices us with his tales of swim through the Panama Canal, Dive in to "Well of Death" in Yucatan, Roams around Devil's Island, pays tribute to Robin Crusoe and finds his own "Toosday". Bewildering set of adventures altogether. The most witty exchange happens when he shows up to get permission to swim through Panama Canal! This part cracked me up! I had a hearty laugh. He finishes his swim through Panama Canal being chased by barracudas. To paraphrase the author - in search of the darkest corners of the earth lending ears to the tales of saddest hearts!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ben B

    New Worlds To Conquer is an excellent nonfiction book about the Author, Richard Halliburton, travelling in South America. Of course as the book is from nearly a century ago, there is some terminology that might seem a little odd to use, or wrong to use in a book, but I look past that and look at the actual content of the story. Halliburton was, what would be considered by today's standards, a daredevil. He frequently put himself into extreme danger, such as at what is known as the Mayan Well of New Worlds To Conquer is an excellent nonfiction book about the Author, Richard Halliburton, travelling in South America. Of course as the book is from nearly a century ago, there is some terminology that might seem a little odd to use, or wrong to use in a book, but I look past that and look at the actual content of the story. Halliburton was, what would be considered by today's standards, a daredevil. He frequently put himself into extreme danger, such as at what is known as the Mayan Well of Death, a pit used by the Ancient Mayans to sacrifice young women and brave men to the God that they believed dwelled within the well. At this well, he dived not once but twice, down the pit, just to see what it felt like. Now I do not remember how long the well was, but I believe it was around 50 feet. But these were most definitely not the only daring feats he accomplished during his time in Latin America. He visited Mexico, with his father, in order to climb to the peak of one of their most famous mountains, but not just that, he also wished to relive, in the best way he could in that time, the conquest of the Spanish Conquistadors of the Aztec civilization. But, due to some failures the first time climbing the mountain, he made it to the top, but went back down because he didn't do it how he had wanted. So he went up a second time, in order to get a camera shot of the peak. There are many other exploits he completed and many other followings of well known people. He followed the steps of Robinson Crusoe, by marooning himself on Devil's Island where Robinson himself was captive. Sadly, it is not a very long book, only a couple hundred pages, but they were certainly enough to see how the world was back then, how different and how similar they are to each other. If you find a copy of this book, as they are getting increasingly harder to find with age, I definitely recommend reading this book to use up some time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Boris

    Having read the biography of Richard Halliburton a couple of years ago (American Daredevil) I was moderately curious about his travel writings. I found thru web searches that to this day he has a small cadre of fans of his work, some attempting to duplicate his travels and adventures. Through pure happenstance I ended up with a 1929 copy (first edition) of "New Worlds to Conquer" and found it as charming and humorous a travelogue that I've ever read. I would rate it with Mark Twain's "The Innocen Having read the biography of Richard Halliburton a couple of years ago (American Daredevil) I was moderately curious about his travel writings. I found thru web searches that to this day he has a small cadre of fans of his work, some attempting to duplicate his travels and adventures. Through pure happenstance I ended up with a 1929 copy (first edition) of "New Worlds to Conquer" and found it as charming and humorous a travelogue that I've ever read. I would rate it with Mark Twain's "The Innocents Abroad". History, humor, close observation of the human race along with the dare devilry he was famous for, like on an impulse diving into the Mayan Well of Death fully clothed. The book evoked many chuckles along with its prose that evoked the romance of the wonders of the world and the human experience. I plan to read more of Halliburton's travel books and will reread "American Daredevil". My goal now is to read all of his travel writings.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the third book I have read by Richard Halliburton. I became aware of him, while reading some books about local history. Halliburton was born in the small town of Brownsville, TN not far from where I live. My conclusion of what to compare his first 3 books to, is to imagine The Great Gatsby is writing a travel book of the most historic and romantic places known to a 1920s man. He goes on adventures in that 1920s aloofness that The Great Gatsby illustrates so well. Halliburton reminds me o This is the third book I have read by Richard Halliburton. I became aware of him, while reading some books about local history. Halliburton was born in the small town of Brownsville, TN not far from where I live. My conclusion of what to compare his first 3 books to, is to imagine The Great Gatsby is writing a travel book of the most historic and romantic places known to a 1920s man. He goes on adventures in that 1920s aloofness that The Great Gatsby illustrates so well. Halliburton reminds me of Chris McCandless from the book "Into The Wild". Restless, adventurous, frivolous, but mostly naive and irresponsible. In this book Halliburton follows the trails of Cortez, Pizzaro and Balboa. From a landing in Mexico, through Panama, and deep into South America. Visits the French penal colonies of Cayenne and Devils Island. And ends up trying to live like Robinson Crusoe in Tobago. Out of the books I have read so far. The first "The Royal Road To Romance" was my favorite. But his second book "The Glorious Adventure", which follows the return home of Ulysses through the Mediterranean and "New Worlds To Conquer" are of equal entertainment. I'm now on to book 4, "The Flying Carpet".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amerynth

    Nobody writes about travel like 1920's adventurer Richard Halliburton! "New Worlds to Conquer" is Halliburton's third book -- this time he heads for South America, following in the footsteps of conquerors like Cortez and Pizzaro. His adventures are always a little outlandish and amusing -- not only does Halliburton jump into the Well of the Dead (twice!) he also decides to swim the Panama Canal... braving alligators, sunburn and barracudas while paying to go through the locks by his tonnage -- a Nobody writes about travel like 1920's adventurer Richard Halliburton! "New Worlds to Conquer" is Halliburton's third book -- this time he heads for South America, following in the footsteps of conquerors like Cortez and Pizzaro. His adventures are always a little outlandish and amusing -- not only does Halliburton jump into the Well of the Dead (twice!) he also decides to swim the Panama Canal... braving alligators, sunburn and barracudas while paying to go through the locks by his tonnage -- a total of 36 cents! Halliburton always comes across as a swashbuckling and romantic hero who never takes himself too seriously. The book is just so much fun it's hard to put down.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James

    Nothing like hiking up Popo, swimming the Panama Canal, hacking your way through the jungle, and grinding an organ with a monkey-friend, and then ending up castaway and destitute on Robinson Crusoe's island. It's a grand adventure all the time!!! Nothing like hiking up Popo, swimming the Panama Canal, hacking your way through the jungle, and grinding an organ with a monkey-friend, and then ending up castaway and destitute on Robinson Crusoe's island. It's a grand adventure all the time!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Great book that I read before going through the Panama Canal which Richard Halliburton had swum.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ian Stewart

    Very interesting. Totally a few colorful views of the past, but if you look past that you seen a man with a great sense of adventure.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fred

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tuck

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mina QuiƱones

  15. 4 out of 5

    lindafay

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather Ummel

  17. 4 out of 5

    JennicaAyelet

  18. 5 out of 5

    Monte Hall

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Sengstacken

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jodie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean Robinson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vlada G.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Louise

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Perkins

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Tiner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nate

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve_long

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