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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
The history of the National Geographic Society is really the story of a family dedicated to bringing steadily advancing knowledge of the earth to a general readership. Founder Gardiner Hubbard construed the term "geography" rather broadly, including anything animal, vegetable or mineral, residing on land, in the sea, or in the clouds. The advent of the magazine launched a successful and influential enterprise, one that sent explorers and adventurers across the globe to brave ocean depths and live among foreign tribes. Upon Hubbard's death, his widow prevailed upon her son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, to take the helm. Bell later passed it along to his own son-in-law, Gilbert Grosvenor, whose family continued to dominate the administration of the Society for most of a century.
Poole is eminently qualified to detail this history; he recently retired as executive editor of the magazine, ending a 21-year career there. The fruit of his labors is a fascinating, assiduously researched, and liberally documented history that mimics the engaging style of the magazine itself. Following the chronology of the magazine, Poole introduces readers to myriad idiosyncratic personalities - not only the explorers themselves, but the members of an unforgettable media dynasty whose work has shaped global impressions for generations of readers. (Holiday 2004 Selection)