Sea ice and the midnight sun, flaming aurora and endless winter night--the arctic of traveler's tales and romantic novels is the unattainable dream of a vast and desolate world--the last imaginary place on Earth.
Now, in this fascinating volume, renowned archeologist Robert McGhee lifts the veil to reveal the true Arctic. Combining anthropology, history, and personal memoir, this book dispels romanticized notions of the Arctic as a world apart, exotic and isolated, revealing a land far more fascinating than we had imagined. McGhee paints a vivid portrait of the movement of Viking farmers across the North Atlantic islands, and of the long and arduous searches for sea-passages to Asia. We meet the fur-traders who pioneered European expansion across the northern forests of Canada and Siberia, the whalers and ivory-hunters who ravaged northern seas, and patriotic explorers racing to reach the North Pole. Most important, McGhee offers far more coverage of the native peoples of the Arctic, societies that other histories usually neglect. We discover how northerners have learned to exploit a rich "hunter's world" where game is, contrary to our expectations, far easier to find than in more temperate lands. McGhee takes us to a thousand-year-old Tuniit campsite perfectly preserved in the Arctic cold, follows the entrepreneurial Inuit as they cross the Arctic in search of metal, and reveals the dangers that native people face today from industrial pollution and global warming.
Flavored by McGhee's personal reflections based on thirty years of work and travel in the region, here is a wide ranging, enlightening look at one of the most culturally rich and fascinating areas of the world.show more