The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - History - 296 pages
3 Reviews
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.

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Review: The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World

User Review  - Margaret Sankey - Goodreads

From the newly hot field of Arctic research, a set of essays by a lifelong devotee of the northern polar world, with forays into conspiracy theories of the Hollow Earth, the reconstructed history of ... Read full review

Review: The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

i'm currently enjoying the extent to which the author is slapping down jean malaurie ('the last kings of thule') for his idealized views of the greenland inuit. this is turning out to be a spectacular history of the people who live at the top of the world. Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgements
6
An Arctic Vision
7
After the Ice Age
11
Copyright

14 other sections not shown

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About the author (2005)


Robert McGhee is the Curator of Arctic Archeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. An archeologist who has conducted over thirty years of research on the ancient peoples of the Arctic, he was awarded the 2000 Massey Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Canada's highest award for excellence in the geographical sciences. He lives in near Ontario, Canada.

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