Customer Reviews: Path of the Pole
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on October 10, 1999
At last Charles Hapgood's book on earth crust displacement is available for everyone to read. The book, which has been out of print for nearly two decades, is the fundamental statement of his theory. Having corresponded with Hapgood for the last five years of his life I know how pleased he would be to see his book back in print. Also, having read the nearly two hundred pages of correspondence between Albert Einstein and Hapgood, I can say that most of the issues the two men discussed are contained in PATH OF THE POLE.
However, the description of the book given here is way off base. Hapgood NEVER predicted another earth crust displacement in the year 2000. This is NOT his theory. In his last letter to me, just weeks before he was killed in an automobile accident, he did write that he thought another crustal displacement would occur but not for THOUSANDS of years. Charles would also object to the new subtitle (Cataclysmic Poleshift Geology). First of all, Hapgood thought that each earth crust displacement took as much as 5,000 years to complete (a point upon which we disagreed) so his theory wasn't "cataclysmic" in the sense that the word is used today. Nor would Hapgood have used the term 'poleshift' because it confuses the reader into thinking that the earth's axis is altered (it is only the outer shell of the earth's mass that is shifted in Hapgood's theory).
Many people will argue that this book is out of date and that advances in geology have made it obsolete. NOT true. The issues that Hapgood covers, such as the geography of the ice ages and the sudden demise of millions of animals during the late Pleistocene remain persistant UNEXPLAINED problems in science.
Aside from the misrepresentations (possibly misunderstandings) in the publisher's book blurb this is still the key book to read first on earth crust displacement. I believe that WHEN THE SKY FELL: IN SEARCH OF ATLANTIS advances Hapgood's theory into new areas of investigation (origins of agriculture, Atlantis, the sun-deluge and the lost island paradise motif in world mythology, etc.) but any serious investigation of the topic must begin with PATH OF THE POLE. Readers of this book should also acquire MAPS OF THE ANCIENT SEA KINGS which Hapgood thought of as a companion book.
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on May 14, 2000
I've read the Flem-Ath book (see previous review from Rand Flem-Ath) on the search for Altlantis, and Graham Hancock's excellent book, Fingerprint of the Gods, and both books begin with Hapgood. His ideas on crustal displacement have been adopted by the "alternate history" writers and sometimes sensationalized. The back page of the copy of Path of the Pole which I got from Amazon quotes Richard Noone, author of one of those sensational books, and actually says "A planetary alignment on May 5, 2000 is predicted to cause the next pole shift -- are you ready?" This is total nonsense and a disservice to the meticulously researched book that Hapgood wrote. Hapgood felt these processes took place over thousands of years, which in his mind was "rapid." The geologists of his time were adherents of uniformitarianism and suggesting earth changes could happen in thousands, not millions, of years was heresy.
Rand and Rose Flem-Ath build on Hapgood in their book, When the Sky Fell: The Search for Atlantis, and after reading Rand's note above, I feel better about their book knowing they were in touch with Charles Hapgood. Clearly these ideas are still not mainstream and it remains to be seen when Hapgood will get the recognition he deserves. Meanwhile, before you believe all the writers of "catastrophe" books, read the original. Path of the Pole is basically an academic book, not always an easy read. Hapgood presents mountains of evidence and much of it is highly technical. But if you seriously want to know what "pole shift" is all about, then you must read Path of the Pole.
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on February 8, 2002
I will try and keep this short. All of Charles Hapgood's books are seminal works. He remains one of the most original and brilliant thinkers of the 20th century. He was also a very fine writer. His work is constantly cited by others. But don't settle for secondary sources. Read and study everything Hapgood wrote. Start with his first book on crustal displacement, EARTH'S SHIFTING CRUST. Then read THE PATH OF THE POLE. And don't miss his MAPS OF THE ANCIENT SEA KINGS. Albert Einstein was convinced that Hapgood's theory of crustal displacement was correct. The fact that Hapgood couldn't explain the mechanism does not detract from his contribution; just as Newton's work on gravity is not diminished by his inability to explain what gravity actually is. Time will prove Hapgood correct on just about everything. Perhaps the mechanism for the crustal shifts will turn out to be a periodic earth rendezvous with a nemesis, a planet X, or a periodic close encounter with a comet ...we shall see! Enjoy!
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on August 15, 2002
Charles Hapgood must be considered as on the mainstays of catastrophism to date. His evidence of different pole positions in the past is rather concrete and his hyphothesis of an Earth crust displacement is well thought out.
The ECD has been defeated since then. It cannot have happened that way. That's why I subtracked a star. But the evidence continues to exist to this day and is accumulating. For instance with the Jarkov mammoth 1999 and its inherent proof of a moderate climate about 1000 miles from the current North Pole in about the coldest era of the last ice age. Strange things must have happened indeed in those days. The notion of different pole positions will live on.
I highly recommend the book and challenge you to solve the riddle. If not the ECD, what did really happen? How did the poles really change positions? Somebody will tell us sometimes. Will you? I might. Time will tell.
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on July 5, 2011
Okay, Von Daniken and all his cohorts have all their ancient astronaut theories and the like, but this is the original, true and blue. Polar shift was this man's idea, everyone else just copied or added to this theory. Hapgood doesn't spin us an unbelievable yarn filled with aliens and Atlantean power crystals; he was a scientist that wrote about an alternative to the current theories of the time about the causes of Ice Ages. Honestly his theory explains a lot more that the current model does, for example how the steppes of Siberia were lush meadow lands while North America was a frozen waste land...and vise versa. There are tons of examples of blaring inconsistencies in the current model that this theory fits perfectly. Hapgood himself admits to not really understanding the mechanics of it all and initially he presents the poles moving in slow cycles, but this is the origin; the very seed from which all the other ideas about polar shifts and the like came from. Skip everyone else's works and read the this. Then judge if any of their ideas hold water.
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on May 13, 2007
This is a very thorough book about the current theory of how pole shifts happen. Hapgood is the formost expert on the theory of having the Earth crust shift instead of the poles moving. It throws new light on the ice age theorys as there has been no accepted explanation for them to date. This is a good read and adds another peice to the puzzle of periodic catastrophy the Earth goes through due to presence of Planet X every 3600 years. A must read.
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on December 20, 2012
Things we have been taught with regards to Earth science throughout our lives were delivered with an air of absolute certainty. The geological ground rules, the very foundations (pardon the pun) were indeed set in stone (ahh did it again). Well let me tell you, the stone, the foundation, the whole damn lithosphere has just been displaced by Charles Hapgood and for good reason. Hapgood has collected and placed a large number of pieces to a mindboggling puzzle together, and I think he has actually solved it. You can see why Albert Einstien took a great interest in these studies.
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on June 18, 2007
Hapgood writes clear and understandeble about the fantastic history of earth. Theories so scaring and fantastic that they are hardly credible. His arguments are so well documented that this book made me change my understanding of the making of our prersent world.
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on May 1, 2011
The Path of the Pole: Cataclysmic Poleshift Geology

For anyone interested in Earth History, this book is a must read. As it took me on a journey around a shifting planet, I found myself wondering where the theory of Continental Drift fits into the scheme of things.

I always enjoy reading books that make me question my beliefs and set me on a new path of exploration - although in this case I sense I will arrive at a compromise which allows for both theories to tell the story of our planet.

A word of caution: this is not science writing at its best. It will take a determined effort to plow through this book.

It's worth the effort though, as you near the end of this book, you will find yourself looking around at your world with a whole new perspective!
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on February 10, 2005
A five star book! Enjoyable and a great read. I really recommend this book to anyone interested in our past, geology, ancient civilizations and even dinosaurs. It has it all. Explore the mysteries of our past. There isn't a dull portion in the book in the least. It is well researched and well written. I enjoyed this book and consider it a classic. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is just that good!
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