- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Steerforth; 1 edition (May 10, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586420240
- ISBN-13: 978-1586420246
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,622,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Walking on the Land 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In Walking on the Land, a third chronicle of the embattled, exiled Ihalmiut people of the Arctic, Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf) aims "to help ensure that man's inhumane acts are not expunged from memory, thereby easing the way for repetitions of such horrors." After reading Mowat's The Desperate People, an Ihalmiut woman raised after the 1957 removal of her people from their home sought him out for further information, resulting in this account of the Ihalmiut's tragic plight. His earlier reports of Ihalmiut culture and the "unwitting genocide" waged on them by government, commerce and missionaries were received with accusations of falsity, denials that the Ihalmiut existed or dismissive silence. Mowat's typically lively, sensitive, plainspoken book traces responsible and victimized parties through devastating misunderstanding and mistreatment.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Canadian naturalist and Arctic specialist Mowat started his career 50 years ago with the publication of People of the Deer, which described the lives and customs of the Ihalmuit (Barren Ground Inuit), with whom he lived for two years, and also helped bring attention to their "unwitting genocide" by establishment institutions. Some 30 years later, Mowat wrote another influential book, Sea of Slaughter, which focused on environmental destruction along the northern Atlantic seaboard. Now, in this passionate account, the prolific author of 30 books revisits the controversial subject and place and learns that his past predictions of tribal decline have been fulfilled as he again witnesses disease, starvation, and violence. Known for his extraordinary storytelling, Mowat presents a multigenerational viewpoint through his accounts of Hudson Bay men, missionaries, and other Arctic people as he subtly describes the desolate landscape. Recommended for public libraries. Margaret W. Norton, Oak Park, IL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Cons: Boring to me, did not interest my 18-year-old son and would not interest junior high students (although it is 8.8 AR level) but did interest my son in his mid-20's; many swear words; graphic descriptions of at least 2 murders (I quit half-way through the book); negative viewpoints of missionaries
You may enjoy the book, but if you're considering getting it for children, keep the above in mind...
I am totally hooked on Mowat's work. He is a cultural anthropologist but he's such an adventure writer, a person gets so caught up in the unfolding drama. The characters are so richly portrayed and their customs explained so well that their way of life as it was will forever be recorded in his books even if it has disappeared. By the way "walking on the land" refers to an Inuit custom of going out into the cold to die. It was done by gracious elders whose younger families faced starvation in order to save children. It was also done by people who felt they had outlived their usefulness.
In "Talking to the Land" Mowat describes his revisit to the Ihalmuit in 1959. This book lacks the high adventure of "People of the Deer." It indicts the Canadian government, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Catholic missionaries, and big business for their uncaring and criminally stupid behavior in dealing with the Ihalmuit. There are many vivid scenes and characters in this short book. The most touching describes his meeting with the last survivor of the Ihalmuit who sought him out in 1999 and inspired him to write this book.
Mowat is a gifted advocate and writer, but I won't give him top marks because his reputation is that of a subjective writer, striving for effect and impact rather than objective truth. Knowing that, I am sympathetic with his views but also a little mistrustful. Did he really have the experiences he describes? Is his assessment of the situation that led to the extinction of the Ihalmuit accurate? Can he be trusted or is he a teller of tales masquerading as a writer of fact?