The Amazon's 'Lost City'

Download Audio
The Lost City of Z (cover detail)
The Lost City of Z (cover detail)

Nearly a century ago, explorer Percy Fawcett marched out of the last great generation of Indiana Jones-style adventurers and into the Amazonian jungle in search of what he called the Lost City of Z.

Deep in the jungle, conquistadors and adventurers have long imagined a civilization as great as Atlantis or El Dorado, lost beneath the Amazon’s endless canopy of green.

Fawcett never came out of the jungle. Decades later, The New Yorker's David Grann dove in after him, to see what he could find. He came out with a tale of snakes, spies, poison arrows, murder — and new science lighting up an old heart of darkness.

This hour, On Point: On the trail of the Lost City of Z.

You can join the conversation. Why do we dream of El Dorados? Of lost cities? What would you risk to try to find one? Have you been to the end of the Amazon?


David Grann joins us from New York. He's a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of “The Lost City of Z: A Deadly Tale of Obsession in the Amazon." You can read an excerpt here.

More links:

"Finding the lost city" — Grann's article in The Boston Globe's Ideas section on Sunday was adapted from the book. He'll be speaking this Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7:00 p.m. at Boston's Museum of Science. More info about his other upcoming appearances here.

This program aired on February 23, 2009.


More from On Point

Listen Live