Book of the Week

The Arctic

cover“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” writes Sven-Olof Lindblad, the founder of Lindblad Expeditions, whose life’s work has been leading expeditions. The result of over 40 years of exploring, his book The Arctic celebrates the “pure magic” travelers to the far north have witnessed, and taken home.

Organized in three sections: Landscape, Wildlife and People, the book features excellent Arctic photography taken from deck, zodiac, kayak, plane and underwater craft.  The images alternate between civilization and pristine wilderness — the worlds of the Inuit, Inuk, Greenlander, Norwegian and Icelandic peoples and the wild that spreads from their doorsteps. Among others, the collection includes affectionate portraits of birds, walruses, caribou, swans, fox, narwhals, oxen, horses, whales and the Arctic’s primary ambassador, the polar bear.

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Lindblad understands better than most how a warming climate has affected the Arctic, and his accessible text touches on a variety of topics like new sea routes that have opened from melting ice, collisions between native rights and mining leases and much more. “The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere on earth,” he writes. “This is clearly a place we should seek to better understand and appreciate, for its own sake and for the sake of the world at large.”

bearTraveling from northern Norway through Iceland, Spitsbergen, Greenland and northern Canada, The Arctic provides a fine overview of a majestic and imperiled landscape — 5.5 million square miles decorated with luminous, blue ice arches and streaks of Aura Borealis. While these frigid climes and towering glaciers can feel distant, Lindblad and his co-author Elizabeth Warner remind readers to remain focused on the region. What happens there affects the whole world.

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