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Arctic Crossing: One Man's 2,000-Mile Odyssey Among the Inuit Paperback – September 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This gifted writer beautifully describes the natural wonder of the countryside and the animals."
--Library Journal

From the Back Cover

Jonathan Waterman's 2,200-mile journey across the roof of North America took him through Inuit communities in Alaska to Nunavut, Canada's new, self-governed territory. His story offers firsthand observations of Inuit life, language, and beliefs; records their reactions to modernization; documents their centuries of unjust treatment at the hands of Kabloona (bushy-eyebrowed whites); and witnesses unemployment, teen suicide, spousal violence, and substance abuse. From the perspective of his 1997 - 1999 voyage - as the Inuit stand on the brink of a more hopeful, independent future - he also looks into a past marked by famous (or infamous) Arctic explorers, governement cover-ups, and environmental destruction.This beautifully written work reveals the perils of crossing the Northwest Passage. Utterly alone for weeks at a time, struggling against freezing conditions, tricks played on him by his own mind, aggresive bears, stormy seas, and mosquito blizzards, Waterman arrives at a profound understanding of environment and culture. (6 x 9, 368 pages, color photos, b&w photos)Jonathan Waterman has worked as a naturalist, Outward Bound instructor, park ranger, boatman, mountain guide, freelance writer, magazine editor, and director of a small press. He developed the television documentaries The Logan Challenge for PBS; Surviving Denali (which won an Emmy), for ESPN; and Odyssey Among the Inuit for the Outdoor Life Network. He began traveling to the Arctic twenty years ago.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585747300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585747306
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,646,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Denali VINE VOICE on January 30, 2007
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The author keeps you engrossed in his story through thick and thin. He admits his faults and mistakes and you learn along with him. I doubt anyone will not like this book.
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By A reader on July 4, 2012
The journey the author undertook is certainly epic. The writing and the insights, however, are not. The general quality of the writing is akin to an undergraduate. A better editor would have helped.

But the greatest shortcoming is that the insights and philosophy are tired and worn. There have been so many works whose theme is "Western man is a bad influence. The indigineous people of North America lived in balance with the natural environment until Europeans arrived" that one oeuvre more adds nothing to our collective understanding. We already know these issues: the "adventurers" who first invaded North America were not exactly enlightened philanthropes or humanitarians. They were various rogues, driven by greed or marginalization in their home societies. They totally screwed over the indigineous North Americans. But one more book on this topic is simply no longer interesting. Indeed, the author at times appears so strident in this theme that I am convinced he came with that biased conclusion in mind as a forethought and then very consciously sought "evidence" to support this thesis.

But, let's give him credit for busting his butt on this challenging journey.
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By Linda Jo Hunter on October 8, 2008
Which means yes. I learned many fascinating things reading this book It is an exciting read and an incredible journey, both physically and mentally which makes the book one you want to read fast, but not so fast that you don't take time for quiet contemplation of all Waterman has to offer in his honest, fresh account of the north. Having been a student of bears for a long time I was engaged by the language of the people who must have lived there before outside influences gave them motors, steel and pollution. The communication interspersed with body language was a key for me to want to do much more research into this culture. There are many things to be gained from this book, the nuts and bolts of kayaking, the intense weather, the camping and logistics of this kind of wilderness, the mental tools to handle isolation, and of course, the means of interacting with the cultures, food and cold. This author is not only and adventurer but he can write!! I found myself stopping to fully enjoy the scenes of the arctic and the sights and smells of the camps.
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