In the Empire of Ice

In the Empire of Ice

Encounter in A Changing Landscape

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
In this gripping circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle, Gretel Ehrlich paints a vivid portrait of the indigenous cultures that inhabit the starkly beautiful boreal landscape surrounding the Arctic Ocean, an ice-bound wilderness that includes northern Siberia, northwestern Greenland, Canada’s vast Nunavut, and northern Alaska. Ehrlich’s expedition, supported by the National Geographic Society, documents what remains of these cultures, specifically the similarities and differences among them, including hunting traditions, shamanic and ceremonial practices, languages and legends?the ways in which they have survived, or have been assimilated, and how they are adapting to the impact of climate change on their ice-age cultures.

Ehrlich is fascinated by what she calls the ecology of culture?the ways in which the human presence of indigenous Arctic people is intricately interwoven with land, rock, river, sea, and ice. Depicting human-caused climate change as only the latest and most destructive of the ills and abuses first peoples have been suffering for 250 years, Ehrlich’s haunting and lovely prose portrays ancient tribes and traditions on the edge of extinction and captures the austere beauty of their various lifeways in the frozen dreamscape of the world they have always known.

Baker & Taylor
Discusses the peoples of the high Arctic, their traditions, and the changes they face in the modern world and from global warming, in a book that looks at languages, hunting traditions, and religious practices.

Book News
Award-winning nature writer, Gretel Ehrlich, chronicles her year-long circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle documenting the environmental and human impact of global warming, in this passionately written account of receding ice and dying traditions. Organized geographically with chapters devoted to Alaska's Bering Strait, Northwestern Russia, Canada's arctic Nanavut region, and Greenland, the work records oral histories of indigenous arctic peoples and documents their struggles to adapt to a changing ecosystem. Focusing on the importance of both biological and cultural diversity, this volume is a meaningful addition to existing literature on climate change. A map of the Arctic Circle, a description of the National Geographic Expedition Council which sponsored the expedition, and a detailed bibliography are included. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

The author journeys to the high arctic to explore the fascinating traditions and society of its peoples as they face change in the modern world and the impact of global warming, in a book that looks at languages, hunting traditions, religious practices and much more. By the author of This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland.

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, c2010
ISBN: 9781426205743
Characteristics: 319 p. : map ; cm
Alternative Title: Empire of ice


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