The Arctic: A History

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Sutton, 2007 - History - 365 pages
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The Arctic is composed of the land and waters that surround the North Pole. Russia, whose shores stretch approximately half way round the northern hemisphere, takes the lion's share in the territory but the United States, Canada, and Denmark have their stakes too. Those who inhabit the densely packed ice, however, remain largely unconcerned by national claims and political boundaries. Today the Arctic, neither a continent nor a nation, has become one of the last contested lands on earth. Richard Vaughan focuses on the human inhabitants of the Arctic and their struggle for existence in one of the most inhospitable areas of the world from the Stone Age up to the present day. He looks at the impact of European, American, and Russian exploration on the lives of the indigenous peoples; the attempts to forge trade routes--including those by 16th-century explorer Willem Barentsz and by Henry Hudson--and the exploitation of the region by the West and Russia, including the effects of the whaling industry, fur trading, ivory trading, the mining of coal, and the drilling of oil. Fully revised and updated, this book confirms the richness and diversity of the Arctic's history, culture, wildlife, and landscape and looks at its future.

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User Review  - nessreader - LibraryThing

a little dry but the narrative clarified by plenty of maps - and I honestly couldn't find anything else that covers this subject. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Richard Vaughan lectured in history at the Universities of Cambridge, Hull and Central Michigan and also taught at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where he was chairman of the Arctic Centre. His previous publications include Northwest Greenland: A History, In Search of Arctic Birds, The Illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris and, with Nancy Jennings, The Stone Curlew. He lives in Porlock, Somerset.

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