An intimate and powerful account of living in Bolivia during a time of crisis and change.
Long the obscure “Tibet of South America,” Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers li An intimate and powerful account of living in Bolivia during a time of crisis and change.
Long the obscure “Tibet of South America,” Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid worker. CNN and the New York Times have shown images of Aymara women in bowler hats standing down tanks; citizen protests have ousted multinationals and two pro-globalization presidents. In A Natural Nation, Powers breathes life into the recent struggles of the Bolivian people. When he arrives in the rainforest, he meets an extraordinary Chiquitano Indian named Salvador who is fighting the extinction of his people. At the same time, the clock ticks for three multinational energy companies forced to curb global warming. Both goals depend upon the survival of a stretch of pristine jungle. But as Indians and oil giants join to launch the world’s largest Kyoto Protocol project—using forests to absorb dangerous planetary greenhouse gasses—Salvador’s life is threatened by loggers collaborating with a racist Bolivian oligarchy. The quest for a single rainforest is subsumed in a movement of national liberation. A Natural Nation goes beneath the headlines, gracefully weaving memoir, travel, history and reportage into an unforgettable chronicle of a “poor little rich country” attempting to engage the world without losing its soul.