The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb

The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb

The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb

The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb


Best-selling authors, sensational lecturers, documentary filmmakers, amateur archaeologists, spies for FDR--Dana and Ginger Lamb led the life of Indiana Jones long before the movie icon was ever scripted. "We blaze the trail," Ginger said, "and the scientists follow."

The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb is the first biography of this captivating, entrepreneurial couple. In Southern California, they started married life in 1933 by building a canoe. With only $4.10 in their pockets, they paddled to Central America and through the Panama Canal. Three years later they returned triumphant, bearing a photographic record of the amazing trek that made them famous.

After releasing their best-selling book, Enchanted Vagabonds, the two became exactly that. They relentlessly lectured for the public and mooned for the media until they were able to fund more exotic voyages to remote jungles and rivers. So convincing were they on the circuit that their most powerful fan, President Franklin Roosevelt, coerced J. Edgar Hoover into hiring the Lambs as spies in Mexico. After World War II they launched their Quest for the Lost City, which yielded another book and documentary.

Drawing on historical records, the Lambs' books and letters, and recently declassified espionage documents, biographers Julie Huffman-klinkowitz and Jerome Klinkowitz show how the Lambs succeeded in marketing their conquests and films to armchair explorers around the world and how they became, in popular imagination, the quintessential American adventurers.


Dana and Ginger Lamb were adventurers in an age that liked mixing myth with reality, at least when it came to entertainment. During the Great Depression, when real-life newlyweds might hope at best for a week alone in a borrowed cottage, the Lambs set off on a three-year honeymoon down the coast from southern California to Panama, making their way in a sixteen-foot canoe to prove how survival skills could see them through any number of challenges. Covered by the national press, they returned as celebrities to write a bestseller about their exploits (Enchanted Vagabonds, 1938) and to start a career in the burgeoning field of film-lecturing. the public loved them, for their success showed how tough times needn’t get one down. the Lambs were not professional explorers, and drew on no resources other than those they could carry or improvise from nature. But they pulled it off, having the time of their lives and making a career of it as well, as their dream of self-sufficiency became a marketable public image.

Ever needful of new material, this dauntless couple undertook another expedition, leaving in 1940 for a hardscrabble journey through Mexico’s villages and into its jungles. World War ii allowed them to return there as special employees of the fbi, spying on presumed Axis activities south of the border at the behest of their . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.