BRAZIL: The Winning of the West

Central Brazil is a vast green wedge of almost unexplored land. Seventeenth-century Portuguese explorers staggered out of its jungles bringing tales of a great lost City of Gold in a Garden of Eden. Plunging into the trackless Mato Grosso (Thick Forest), such 20th century big-game hunters as Theodore Roosevelt and Alexander ("Tiger Man") Siemel encountered jaguars hardly smaller than the fiercest tigers of Bengal. Nine years ago, out to win the 116,000 square miles of this wild Brazilian west. President Getulio Vargas set up the government-financed Central Brazil Foundation and ordered: "Conquer the wilderness. Colonize the area.''

Last week, trying...

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