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Poles Apart: Parallel Visions of the Arctic and Antarctic Paperback – May 30, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Rowell is a winner of an Ansel Adams Award for wilderness photography with many books and articles to his name, including Vision (LJ 11/1/93) and The Art of Adventure (LJ 11/15/89). In this volume, he offers parallel visual portraits of the North and South Poles. Part 1 presents side-by-side photos of the Arctic and Antarctic on facing pages, allowing readers to get a comparative view of the two regions. Part 2 consists of two-page features with brief text and photographs to illustrate science, travel, people, islands, etc. Part 3 has one- to two-paragraph essays with background and camera settings for each photograph. Alistair Fothergill's A Naural History of the Antarctic (LJ 8/95) has equally attractive photography but only of the Antarctic. No other publication reveals so graphically these parallel but dissimilar regions. In Rowell's words, they are as "unalike as Kansas and Kenya." Especially recommended for natural history and photography collections.
Jean E. Crampon, Hancock Biology & Oceanography Lib, Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A cross between Sir Edmund Hillary and Ansel Adams, Rowell has become a cult figure to climbers and photographers alike."--Margot Dougherty, "People Weekly

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reissue edition (May 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520209028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520209022
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Galen Rowell, internationally renowned photographer and mountaineer, is the author of such acclaimed books as My Tibet (with His Holiness the Dalai Lama) and Mountains of the Middle Kingdom. His work regularly appears in Life, National Geographic, Outside, and Sports Illustrated.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1996
Format: Hardcover
This is much more than a coffee table book, though its unique photographs of the pristine beauty of the Arctic and Antarctic would impress even the most casual of browsers. A short story about each photo is included, along with more general, thoughtful and poignant commentary from someone that is truly in touch with the global environment. Rowell is one of the great nature photographers, and this is a stunning collection
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By FLYING.STARTS@MCI2000.COM on December 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Turning to page 74, my Danish-born wife, Aino, was amazed to discover her little town of Scoresbysund. She spent her fomative years(age 5-12)growing up there, where her father, Dr. Werner Mortensen, served as the sole doctor for the area of 3 villages.
Galen Rowell's photography captures the typical beauty of a Scandinavian mileau, even though it is truly a facade for the garbage that the typical native Greenlander casts no further than his front door!
His words portray the many problems of the native Inuits, who have been unable to adapt to the influence of Danish culture and progress. For Rowell to elaborate on the problems of alcholism, violent crime, and the high rate of suicide in a village of only 500, distinguishes him as an author that researchs his subjects quite well! It brought back memories for my wife of the "Grundlander" that beat his wife with the carcass of a frozen seal, only to have his wife bite of his ear.
The large yellow building in the left foreground is the eight bed hospital; the little red house with white trimmed windows that is over to the immediate left is where family Mortensen grew up from 1966-72. This book really takes my wife back,and helps me see things that were only in her mind's eye. It also brings her up to the what the present day Scoresbysund has become. And now that my family will be moving to Fairbanks,Alaska, my wife can get a sneak preview of our future from this marvelous book. Having lived in Alaska myself, I definitely recommend this book for its shear splendid photography and candid commentary. Great job Galen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Chiu on September 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Wow, what a great and such awesome picture volume. This book not only shows you pictures from the Arctic and the Antarctic, it particularly reveals the true differences between the two polar regions...they ARE truly different and fascinating! This book also delivers very-high quality photography, which can easily tempt you into travelling to such exotic destinations.
In the book, you will find 2 pictures side by side-one showing the Arctic, the other showing Antarctic. That way, you will get an idea of its differences. In addition, there is a separate chapter that dedicates to interesting stories regarding these regions, anything from life in Siberia, Inuit life in northern Alaska, to the South Georgia Islands & the South Pole. Last, but not least, there is also a whole section reviewing all the pictures showed in the book, including background information describing each photo, etc.
This is truly an amazing picture volume that is a MUST-HAVE for any polar fanatic. Get prepared for over 180 pages of some superb photography and much info on these fantastic regions. For the money, it was quite worth it...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of Galen's work you will certainly enjoy this book. The concept, comparing and contrasting the two poles, is brilliant.

The photographs are typical Galen - beautiful, engaging, illuminating. The accompanying text provides context and insight.

There is an essay section at the back that provides some insight into how Galen thought about the photos that appear in this book. Very interesting reading and a great teaching aid for amateur photographers and photojournalists.
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