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Two in the Far North Paperback – June 1, 2003
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"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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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...Read more ›
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 ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazing tale of trudging over muskeg, battling mosquitoes, boating up and down swift rivers with a scientist husband and a young baby. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nancy Taras
This book is so moving...to read what it was like to just "head north"; the sights and experiences, the dangers and joys, the trials and tribulations from a woman who lived... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Romerrr
Loved it. got a sense of what it was like to live in alaska in the early 20th century.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Love the outdoors and this was about the outdoors before the days of lots of cars when people walked.Published 4 months ago by KK 1310
Beautifully written and once again timely as we humans own up to the environmental challenges we have tried to ignore.Published 6 months ago by Granny B
This book was recommended to me by a tour guide at Denali Park in Alaska. The story will remind you of the wild country and what it means to be strong, independent, and to fight... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joann MacMaster
Murie writes with exquisite detail describing the Alaskan wilderness. It was certainly easy to imagine what she was seeing. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kay Bowman
Fascinating story of the history of Alaska and the Arctic, told by a woman who lived there, raised children and explored it's wilderness courageously, when most women of her... Read morePublished 13 months ago by K. Stone