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Ultima Thule: Explorers and Natives in the Polar Northby Jean Malaurie
Synopses & Reviews
Ultima Thule is the terrible and yet fantastic story of European and American exploration in the polar north. Based on excerpts from the explorers' logs counterbalanced by Inuit testimony, it brings to life both sides of the clash that arose when white men arrived in the Far North, dreaming of conquest and believing that they brought with them a civilization superior to that of the indigenous peoples they found. Today, the outlook for the Inuit and the polar environment is bleak: the people and their landscape are in danger of disappearing for good. But according to Jean Malaurie, the situation is not altogether without hope.
Heavily illustrated with period photographs, engravings, artifacts, and drawings, the book gives the readers the impression of having an entire museum of North Pole history in their hands.
Book News Annotation:
The history of western exploration of the Arctic North is provided in detailed chapters devoted to 13 men and their expeditions, from Captain John Ross in the 17th century through that of the author himself in the 20th. (Malaurie, who wrote Last Kings of Thule spent the year of 1950 among the Inuit.) The lengthy accounts of the expeditions are accompanied by copious color illustrations with lengthy captions; an excellent map on endpaper locates important sites. A central theme is the irreversible changes experienced by the native peoples as a result of these expeditions and attention to the explorers' accounts of their encounters, treatment, and opinions of the natives. A concluding chapter is devoted to the current cultural and environmental conditions in the North. The volume is oversize:10.75 x 13.5". No competent arctic collection will want to lack this splendid work.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Based on the explorers' logs and Inuit testimony, this text is the story of European and American exploration in the polar north. It aims to bring to life both sides of the clash that arose when white men arrived in the Far North, dreaming of conquest, and explores the fate and future of the Inuit.
An illustrated history of 170 years of Arctic exploration and its effects on indigenous peoples.
"Ultima Thule" is the terrible and yet fantastic story of European and American exploration in the polar north. The book brings to life both sides of the clash that arose when white men arrived in the Far North. Heavily illustrated with period photos, engravings, artifacts, and drawings. 650 photos.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 399) and index.
About the Author
Jean Malaurie, an Arctic explorer since the age of twenty-six, spent a year sharing the daily life of the Inuit in 1950. Today he lives in Paris and is the author of several books on the polar regions.
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