Nineteen eighty-eight was the year of drought and fire in the Americas. It was a year of growing public concern about global warming, with dire projections of melting ice caps and ozone depletion. It was a year of dramatic images of the charred remnants of once majestic forests from the Rockies to the Amazon basin. For the first time the destruction of the tropical rain forest of Brazil became a major issue for North Americans and for people concerned about the danger to the environment throughout the world. But how did this vast ecological disaster occur? What can be done to deal with its effects? Some answers to these questions are provided by the books discussed in this chapter, each of which deals with some aspect of the tragedy of the Amazon.