Magazine article Geographical

A History of the Arctic

Magazine article Geographical

A History of the Arctic

Article excerpt


by John McCannon

Reaktion Books, hb, 25 [pounds sterling]


The Arctic is a remote. cold and challenging region that few of us will ever get to see first hand or properly understand. Yet four million people live in an area that spans 28 million square kilometres of sea. ice and solid land and stands on the front line of one of humanity's most important environmental debates.

John McCannon's book is a valuable and timely addition to that debate. It takes us beyond the immediate enveloping crisis of global warming and provides us with a broader sweep of the Arctic's history and present place in the global landscape.

Starting from the earliest formations, A History of the Arctic carries us briskly through the geological, meteorological and anthropological history of the region At times, his journey is speedy but it's never dull, and he possesses a keen eye for detail, especially in chronicling the region's wildlife and the painful transition from exploration to exploitation. …

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