The Arctic: A History

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The Arctic is composed of the land and waters that surround the North Pole. Russia, whose shores stretch approximately half way round the northern hemisphere, takes the lion's share in the territory but the United States, Canada, and Denmark have their stakes too. Those who inhabit the densely packed ice, however, remain largely unconcerned by national claims and political boundaries. Today the Arctic, neither a continent nor a nation, has become one of the last contested lands on earth. Richard Vaughan focuses ...

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Overview

The Arctic is composed of the land and waters that surround the North Pole. Russia, whose shores stretch approximately half way round the northern hemisphere, takes the lion's share in the territory but the United States, Canada, and Denmark have their stakes too. Those who inhabit the densely packed ice, however, remain largely unconcerned by national claims and political boundaries. Today the Arctic, neither a continent nor a nation, has become one of the last contested lands on earth. Richard Vaughan focuses on the human inhabitants of the Arctic and their struggle for existence in one of the most inhospitable areas of the world from the Stone Age up to the present day. He looks at the impact of European, American, and Russian exploration on the lives of the indigenous peoples; the attempts to forge trade routes—including those by 16th-century explorer Willem Barentsz and by Henry Hudson—and the exploitation of the region by the West and Russia, including the effects of the whaling industry, fur trading, ivory trading, the mining of coal, and the drilling of oil. Fully revised and updated, this book confirms the richness and diversity of the Arctic's history, culture, wildlife, and landscape and looks at its future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750946513
  • Publisher: The History Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Vaughan lectured in history at the Universities of Cambridge, Hull and Central Michigan and also taught at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where he was chairman of the Arctic Centre. His previous publications include Northwest Greenland: A History, In Search of Arctic Birds, The Illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris and, with Nancy Jennings, The Stone Curlew. He lives in Porlock, Somerset.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
1 Inhabitants of the Tundra 1
2 Early Explorers and Colonists 35
3 Trade Routes Through the Ice 54
4 The Massacre of the Bowhead in the Atlantic Arctic 77
5 Russians in the Arctic 96
6 The Hudson's Bay Company and the Royal Greenland Trade 116
7 The Arctic Defeats the Royal Navy 142
8 America and the Arctic in the Nineteenth Century 168
9 The Northern Sea Route 199
10 The Arctic in the Twentieth Century 221
11 The Search for Minerals 244
12 Who Owns the Arctic? 263
References 290
Index 325
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