Geography of the Northlands

Geography of the Northlands

Geography of the Northlands

Geography of the Northlands

Excerpt

There are at least two good reasons why a textbook on the northlands should appear at this time. In the first place, the arctic and subarctic, whether we like it or not, are being drawn more and more into world affairs and economic exploitation. To be ignorant of the area--perhaps the greatest underdeveloped area in the world--is a luxury no educated person can afford, least of all students, to many of whom will fall the prodigious task of developing large parts of these lands for their own good and the advantage of all. In the second place, no single-volume geographical treatment of the northlands in the English language has appeared for at least twenty years, during which time our knowledge of them has grown substantially.

The editors and the publishers of this book therefore believe that it is high time a new survey of the arctic and subarctic regions was made available, a survey that will sharpen the student's insight into the nature of the relationships subsisting between man and the lands and resources of high latitudes and quicken his awareness of the role which these lands and resources are destined to play in the world comity of nations.

Clearly, in a volume of some five hundred pages, it is not possible to cover all the ground commonly trodden by geographers. And we will readily concede that a good deal of the "common ground" has been tripped over rather lightly, to the discomfiture, we suspect, of some of our long-suffering collaborators! But the truth is--to change the metaphor--that we have been working with a large canvas, and to come to terms with our assignment has necessitated the use of a large brush. In the circumstances, it has not been possible to provide the curious viewer with the material for a close-grained analysis of the subject; instead, we have striven to produce a working sketch from which defter hands than ours may, we hope, later conjure the precise lineaments, the real personality, of the northlands.

In view of the space limitations we have set ourselves, it may be contended that we have been ill advised to treat the subject under both . . .

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