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Arctic Dreams Paperback – October 2, 2001
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Based on 15 extended trips to the Canadian far north over a five-year period, Arctic Dreams celebrates the mysteries of what documentarians fondly call "last frontiers." Such places are everywhere in danger of destruction in the interest of ever-elusive economic progress, but Lopez writes no jeremiads. Instead, he aims to foster a kind of learned understanding of wild places, in this case the vast, scarcely knowable northern landscape. Writing of the natural history of the Arctic and its inhabitants--narwhals, polar bears, beluga whales, musk oxen, and caribou among them--Lopez draws powerful lessons from the land and imparts them assuredly and gracefully. Arctic Dreams deservedly won a National Book Award in 1986 when it was first published. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From Publishers Weekly
This is one of the finest books ever written about the Far North, warmly appreciative and understanding of the natural forces that shape life in an austere landscape. The prize-winning author (Of Wolves and Men spent four years in Arctic regions: traveling between Davis Strait in the east and Bering Strait in the west, hunting with Eskimos and accompanying archeologists, biologists and geologists in the field. Lopez became enthralled by the power of the Arctic, a power he observes derives from "the tension between its beauty and its capacity to take life." This is a story of light, darkness and ice; of animal migrations and Eskimos; of the specter of development and the cultural perception of a region. Examining the literature of 19th century exploration, Lopez finds a disassociation from the actual landscape; explorers have tended to see the Arctic as an adversary. Peary and Stefansson left as a troubling legacy the attitude that the landscape could be labeled, then manipulated. Today, he contends, an imaginative, emotional approach to the Arctic is as important as a rational, scientific one. Lopez has written a wonderful, compelling defense of the Arctic wilderness. Illustrations. BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
The book is not just about the arctic, although of course it is. There are plenty of facts and historical tidbits relating to arctic climate, arctic people, arctic exploration. But at least as important is Mr Lopez's comments on the effects various cultures have on one another when they begin to blend, and the difficulties societies have trying to understand one another.
I have to say, for whatever reason, it took me a couple chapters for this book to grab me. I almost quit reading it. Now I believe it is one of the more important books I've ever read.
Most recent customer reviews
the Arctic? Here's a good alternative--engaging, exciting, and informative.
Enjoy the trip.
Thoughtful nature writing at its best, a reflection on life, meaning, the Other, and how all that intersects...Read more