In this engaging book, Stephen Nugent offers an in-depth historical anthropology of a widely recognised feature of the Amazon region, examining the dramatic rise and fall of the rubber industry. He considers rubber in the Amazon from the perspective of a long-term extractive industry that linked remote forest tappers to technical innovations central to the industrial transformation of Europe and North America, emphasizing the links between the social landscape of Amazonia and the global economy. Through a critical examination focused on the rubber industry, Nugent addresses myths that continue to influence perceptions of Amazonia. The book challenges widely held assumptions about the hyper-naturalism of the 'lost world' of the Amazon where 'the challenge of the tropics' is still to be faced and the 'frontiers of development' are still to be settled. It is relevant for students and scholars of anthropology, Latin American studies, history, political ecology, geography and development studies.