Cities in the Jungle: Power and Development in the Human Amazon

The Amazon Basin is the home not only of natural beauty and unspoiled jungle – it’s a cultural melting pot. In jungle cities like Iquitos, Manaus, or Tarapoto, a unique civilization has sprung up, fuzing Latin American and African elements with varied indigenous traditions. Now, the rising economies of China and Brazil, with their drives toward greater resource extraction and regional integration, are driving sweeping changes that are transforming that world. In his reporting, Saul Elbein will investigate the forces reshaping the cities of the Amazon; looking at who is winning, who is losing, and what is being left behind.

Saul Elbein is a freelance journalist based in Austin, Texas. He has written for The New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, and This American Life, and The Texas Observer. He just returned from a long reporting trip in Southeast Asia, where he covered attacks on environmental journalists for the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. The Amazon got into his bloodstream five years ago and he has not been the same since.