Study Guide

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon Chapter 18

By David Grann

Chapter 18

A Scientific Obsession

  • In 1921, Lawrence of Arabia—the Lawrence of the Arabia—agrees to accompany Fawcett into the Amazon.
  • But Fawcett doesn't want him.
  • Fawcett wants his son Jack to accompany him.
  • Now if only the Fawcetts actually had money for this expedition.
  • Jack trains his body in case funding comes through. A friend describes him as one of "the knights of the Grail" (18.19). We'd call Fawcett Sir Bragsalot.
  • In 1924, Fawcett learns that Dr. Rice is planning yet another extravagant expedition. The guy has a hydroplane this time. In the 1920s, this is like Google sending a mapping car into the Amazon.
  • Fawcett believes that good old-fashioned footwork beats technology any day, and he finds a kindred mind in a former war correspondent named George Lynch.
  • Lynch helps Fawcett raise money by promoting the heck out of the expedition. This guy would be a Tumblr master if he were alive today.
  • Fawcett, with his son Jack, treks to New York to meet Lynch and Jack's friend Raleigh.
  • In the Big Apple, Fawcett discovers Lynch "drunk and surrounded by prostitutes" (18.33).
  • On second thought, Lynch should stay off social media.
  • Lynch retreats to Europe in disgrace, but American billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr. chips in $4,500 bucks to help Fawcett's expedition.
  • Off Fawcett goes in search of Z once more.