The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic

The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic

by Elizabeth Kolbert, Francis Spufford

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596914438
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 10/02/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 5.96(w) x 10.01(h) x 1.45(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe, and has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1999. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the New York Times. She lives with her husband and three sons in Williamstown, MA. Francis Spufford writes for the Guardian and lives in Cambridge, England, with his wife and daughter. He received a Somerset Maugham Award for his book on ice exploration, I May Be Some Time.

Table of Contents


Introduction     1
The Extreme Misery of the Whole Party     7
The Return of Light     11
Murder in the Arctic?     14
See the Esquimaux     30
Mount Hatteras     37
The Winter Night     45
Andree's Second Diary     58
We Reach the Pole     62
Kasiagsak, The Great Liar     71
Songs of the Inuit     76
The Garden of Eden     82
Kabloona     88
A Greenland Christmas     99
In a Far Country     112
Land Ho!     127
Icelandic Pioneer     134
The Land, Breathing     145
Aliberti's Ride     157
Unexpected Poisons     173
Shishmaref, Alaska     187
Brief Chronology of Arctic Exploration     203
Acknowledgments     207

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The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
mojacobs on LibraryThing 19 days ago
A collection of pages from journals, archives, short stories, memoirs... Some very interesting, some rather dry stuff, and some repetition as well. A bit disappointing for me.
bell7 on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Edited by Elizabeth Kolbert (the Arctic) and Francis Spufford (the Antarctic), this collection of fiction and nonfiction selections was published in 2007 to commemorate the fourth International Polar Year, which occurred from 2007 to March 2009. Knowing very little about Polar exploration myself, I found this a wonderful introduction to some well-known explorers as well as some perhaps less familiar scientists, writers, and explorers. Each half of the book was approximately 200 pages long, containing twenty selections on the Arctic and nineteen on the Antarctic, each including one selection by the editors themselves. The selections covered a variety of subject matter, from wife-swapping to scientific exploration to reaching the Poles for the first time. The writings of the explorers interested me most, from Peary's description of his expedition to the North Pole to Scott's diary on his doomed return trip from the South Pole. As with any collection, the selections were a mixed bag with some that appealed to me more than others. My favorite Arctic selection was that of Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian who tried to get to the North Pole by drifting in his ship - his descriptions were lovely and evocative, almost making me want to travel to the Arctic myself, especially to see the Northern Lights. In the Antarctic, I loved the selection about penguins, written by Diane Ackerman. While I read the selections, I took note of those books I wanted to seek out in full, as well as keeping my computer nearby to look up what crampons and sastrugi look like. The infrequent typo distracted me from time to time, but overall this is a fascinating glimpse into the Polar regions that whet my appetite for more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read more at this point on the Antarctica side, but each story allows the reader to become so engrossed in another cold tundra of a world! You feel like getting under the covers and warming yourself. One would also learn to REALLY appreciate the sunshine on a daily basis and how we are so very blessed with human comforts, even the poor! I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking adventure and knowledge on the vast extremities of our planet. I hope we learn always protect our planet and the animals that reside there.