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Two in the Far North Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books; 35th edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088240489X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882404899
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Simply put, Mardy Murie is a national treasure. Her life has made a certain kind of life possible for the rest of us. Generations to come will feel her imprint, though they may not know it was how she lived her life that allowed them to witness some of the last wild places on Earth. They may not know that it is because of her life that their souls and spirits can be fed by what is natural and wild. I hope those who come long after us will have TWO IN THE FAR NORTH in their satchels as they gaze upon these natural wonders and that they, too, will come away with same resolve she ad to protect these incredible gifts."      ---Robert Redford

About the Author

She is the award-winning author of Leap, An Unspoken Hunger, Refuge & most recently Red - A Desert Reader. She lives in Castle Valley, Utah.

Customer Reviews

The book is an indivisible combination of autobiography and nature writing.
bensmomma
After recently visiting Mardy and Olaus' home in Moose, Wyoming, her love of Alaska and wilderness is even more meaningful for me.
Amy C.
Anyone who has been to Alaska, is going to go, or has an interest in wilderness should read this book.
Jaybird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on July 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Many of the best-known books about Alaska, its people and wilderness, have been written from an outsider's perspective (John McPhee, for example, or Joe McGinniss), with an outsider's sense of detachment and strangeness, as though what they were commenting on were just slightly odd on some level.
Margaret Murie (known as "Mardy"), gives as Alaska from a true insider's perspective, as one who grew up with it, knows it in her bones, and loves it the way we love our closest family.
Born in 1902, Mardy moved to Fairbanks at age 9, where kids went to school in -50F temperatures and where the only way in or out of Alaska in winter was on the back of a mail sled propelled by sled dogs. One of the first grads of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, she married the naturalist Olaus Murie and honeymooned in the Arctic. Over the years, fearless Mardy even took her infant children on expeditions into the wild.
The book is an indivisible combination of autobiography and nature writing. Murie has a remarkable eye; her descriptive powers rival McPhee's but her tone is more one of powerful affection rather than awe. My favorite story was of a young teenage Mardy, on her way to the Lower 48 to go to high school, catching the last mail sled out of town in the spring of 1918. This spring trip took many days; at each river crossing there was a possibility of not making it over the thinning ice.
What an adventure! Combined with that adventure is a powerful romance, the lifelong relationship between Olaus, a professional naturalist; Mardy, the fearless and intrepid companion; and Alaska herself.
Mardy Murie died only last year, at age 101. If you read this book, you will regret having just missed her; she deserves to be missed.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jesse on November 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I, first, heard of Mardy Murie and her husband, Olaus, while watching John Denver's The Wildlife Concert. He wrote A Song For All Lovers for their deep and abiding love for each other and for the state of Alaska. The song's beauty gave rise to my curiousity. And, recently, while watching a documentary of Mardy's life, I became determined to read this book about her life.
This book is a must have. Mrs. Murie paints with words, a picture so vivid of Alaska's tundras and plains, that I felt as if I were part of it. The lifestyle was hard, but satisfying, and this woman's life was nothing short of fascinating. Mardy Murie is a living testament to the strength and beauty of women, and she leaves a shining example of what a woman can do. In her assistance in Olaus' work for the ANWR and other Alaskan Land Conservancies, to her carrying on of that work, she is a beacon to us all of what we can do.
Buy it...read it. You will fall in love with Alaska and with Mardy.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mardy Murie is often referred to as "The Grandmother of American Conservation" and "The Grand Dame of the American Conservation movement, but somehow after reading her story, these titles barely seem adequate to describe such an incredible and personal woman. While we may liken Murie to women like Rachel Carson or Anna Botsford Comstock, Murie's journey is singular. We follow her from her childhood in Wyoming to graduation at the University of Alaska, through love, into the far reaches of the Alaskan North.
Murie successfully bridges the personal and the political, her own life and her life's work, her love for one man and her love for their work together. You will laugh with her, you will cry with her, feel scared for her, and come to love her. She will become your hero.
We must recognize Murie as an American treasure, but we must also recognize that Murie's inspiration is perhaps more important now than it ever was. The most obvious reason for this statement is the continuing struggle to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from growing oil interests. We must also recognize, however, that Murie could be the inspiration for the young generation of leaders in conservation-- a group of leaders that undoubtedly must include women. That there are very so few women leaders in conservation has caused the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women to recognize the struggle of women in their efforts to achieve leadership positions in the conservation movement. Other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club, and the National Wildlife Federation have launched campaigns to attract more women into leadership roles. The lack of women in environmental leadership reflects America's view of rugged individualism in our collective imagination...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ed Torres on April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a good book about the Alaskan frontier set-during the gold-mining era-and told by Margaret Murie, both as a child and later as an adult. Murie tells the story of her and her husband's adventures throughout the Alaskan wilderness. Murie's tale begins with her adventuring as a child growing up exploring the Alaskan wilderness and becoming a woman, and eventually fellow explorer and trail mate of her husband, Oluaus Murie, a relatively renowned biologist and explorer.

The book spans many years and we are given a great portrait of a pioneer, specifically a woman pioneer and her adventures in and throughout the Alaskan wilderness. As readers we are given exploration and adventure stories told by a courageous and tough woman who details both the difficulties and challenges of exploring such a place as well as how that places grew and developed over the years, especially during the 1940's and 50's. Murie is clearly passionate about both wilderness preservation and the conservation of the Alaskan wilderness.

The book covers many years and details the changing times during this period of Alaskan history. I do think it is worthwhile for anyone interested in wilderness adventure stories, Alaskan exploration, and the lives of explorers. That said I did have some issues, most notably as she gets older, the book tends toward preachy and there is less adventure. Call me superficial, but the last part didn't hold my interest nearly as well. But if you keep that in mind while reading and consider ending as your interest flags, this book is well recommended.

Also, recommended is
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