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Item #: PL3556-875
STEFANSSON: PROPHET OF THE NORTH Earl Parker 1941 1st ed Hardcover Very Good
By Hanson, Earl Parker
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Detailed Product Description
New York, 1941, 1st ed. 241 pp, b/w photos and maps. Hardcover without dust jacket. Damp stain to cover and spine, else near fine. Very Good.

Biography of the Polar explorer. Over the course of three forays into the Arctic between 1906 and 1918, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, one of Canada's most renowned Arctic explorers, traveled more than 32,000 km by sled and dog team , and explored some of the world’s last uncharted territory. Of his explorations, the most well-known was the Canadian Arctic Expedition, which he led between 1913 and 1918. By the 1920s, Stefansson’s travels and writing had turned him into an internationally recognized personality, and he created more interest in the Arctic among Canadians than any other individual of his time. No stranger to controversy, Stefansson often had a polarizing effect on the public; supporters considered him a visionary genius and “prophet of the North,” while detractors labelled him a reckless and manipulative adventurer.

The Friendly Arctic
Vilhjalmur Stefansson was a brilliant publicist and a prolific writer, and he strived to use his position to shape people’s perceptions of the Arctic. His most famous book, The Friendly Arctic (1921), had a simple message: the Arctic was not a bleak, frozen wasteland, but a habitable region that must be developed. “It is human nature to undervalue whatever lands are distant and to consider disagreeable whatever is different,” Stefansson asserted.

“It is chiefly our unwillingness to change our minds which prevents the North from changing into a country to be used and lived in just like the rest of the world.” To spur on the region’s development, Stefansson presented the Arctic Ocean as a militarily and commercially strategic “Polar Mediterranean” that, if controlled and exploited by Canada, could make the country one of the great powers of the 20th century.

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