A beautiful literary anthology published to commemorate the International Polar Yearand remind us what we're in danger of losing.
The Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves have been an object of obsession for as long as we've known they existed. Countless explorers, including such legends as Richard Byrd, Ernest Shackleton, and Robert Falcon Scott, have risked their lives to chart their frozen landscapes. Now, for the first time in human history, we are in legitimate danger of seeing polar ice dramatically shrink, break apart, or even disappear. The Ends of the Earth, a collection of the very best writing on the Arctic and Antarctic, will simultaneously commemorate four centuries of exploring and scientific study, and make the call for preservation.
Stocked with first-person narratives, cultural histories, nature and science writing, and fiction, this book is a compendium of the greats of their fields: including legendary polar explorers and such writers as Jon Krakauer, Jack London, Diane Ackerman, Barry Lopez, and Ursula K. LeGuin. Edited by two contemporary authorities on exploring and the environment, The Ends of the Earth is a memorable collection of terrific writingand a lasting contribution to the debate over global warming and the future of the polar regions themselves.
About International Polar Year -
International Polar Year (which begins in spring 2007) is a major international science initiative that aims to focus public attention on the polar regions and our effect on them. The last such initiative, the International Geophysical Year in 1957–58, involved 80,000 scientists from 67 countries. This one promises to be bigger still.
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|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
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
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.