A Fabulous Kingdom: The Exploration of the Arctic (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199837809

Charles B. Officer; Jake Page
232 Pages
189 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2012
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Inconstant and forbidding, the arctic has lured misguided voyagers into the cold for centuries-pushing them beyond the limits of their knowledge, technology, and endurance. A Fabulous Kingdom charts these quests and the eventual race for the North Pole, chronicling the lives and adventures that would eventually throw light on this "magical realm" of sunless winters. They follow the explorers from the early journeys of Viking Ottar to the daring exploits of Martin Frobisher, Henry Hudson, Frederick Cook, Robert Peary, and Richard Bird. The second edition features a section entitled "The New Arctic" that illuminates current scientific and environmental issues that threaten the region. Officer and Page discuss such topics as the science behind the melting of the polar ice; the endangered species that now depend on the ice, including polar bears, narwhals, walruses, and ringed seals; commerce in mining and natural resources, especially petroleum and natural gas; and predictions for the economic and environmental future of the region. Library Journal called the first edition a "winning fusion of adventure, suspense, and history."


Prologue: the Nature of the Place
PART ONE: Ultima Thule
Chapter One: Sea Lungs, Godly Commerce, and Projections
Chapter Two:Frizadores for Cathay and Polar Bears
Chapter Three: Fool's Gold, Hooch, and Mutiny
PART TWO: The Myth of the Open Polar Sea
Chapter Four: Connubial Fidelity and the Vicar of Wakefield
Chapter Five: Open Seas and Closed Minds
Chapter Six: Anything is Good that Don't Poison You
PART THREE: Racing for the Pole
Chapter Seven: Three Faces of Ambition
Chapter Eight: Amateurs, Pros, and Cons
Chapter Nine: From Polar Larks to Canary-Watching
PART FOUR: The New Arctic
Chapter Ten: Albedo, Winds, and Other Culprits
Chapter Eleven: Animals: Changing the Guard
Chapter Twelve: Boom and Bust on the New Frontier
Chapter Thirteen: Who Owns the Arctic?
Chapter Fourteen: Global Predictions

About the author: 

Charles Officer is Research Professor in the Earth Sciences Department and Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Jake Page has written many books of fiction and nonfiction and hundreds of magazine articles and columns.

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