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North Pole: Nature and Culture

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  8 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The North Pole has long held surprising importance for many of the world’s cultures. Interweaving science and history, this book offers the first unified vision of how the North Pole has shaped everything from literature to the goals of political leaders—from Alexander the Great to neo-Hindu nationalists. Tracing the intersecting notions of poles, polarity, and the sacred ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Reaktion Books
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Joseph Spuckler
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
North Pole: Nature and Culture by Michael Bravo is a history of the North Pole from ancient to modern times. Bravo is the University Senior Lecturer and Fellow of Downing College Convenor of Circumpolar History and Public Policy Research, Scott Polar Research Institute. Member of the Department of Geography's Natures, Cultures, and Knowledges Thematic Research Group. Research Associate in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science.

I picked this book up thinking it would be a
...more
Lou
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
North Pole, written by scholar and all-around authority in this field, Michael Bravo, is unlike anything you will ever have read before on this topic as it takes a whole different approach to a subject that has fascinated many, including myself, for centuries. It charts the evolution of the North Pole in the human mind and spirit, including those of the general public, geographers, academics, philosophers and political leaders. The air of mystery that surrounds a place that many will only ever ...more
Max
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been obsessed with the Arctic since I visited Svalbard in the summer of 2018. So when I saw this book, I knew I needed to read it.

And it did not disappoint! This is a detailed history of the north pole. Discussed is how it was discovered and how people before the discovery viewed the north pole. A very fun and interesting story is of the airship Italia, the second dirigible that reached the north pole. Unfortunately it crashed right after reaching the pole. The politics and history of this
...more
Triumphal Reads
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I did receive a digital version of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

The North Pole, for a variety of reasons, has almost always held a certain air of mystery for the general public (and for academics as well!) throughout the course of history from the ancient Greeks down to contemporary society. Michael Bravo's book, North Pole: Nature and Culture, does a fantastic job of exploring many facets of the North Pole and how it has captivated the human mind and spirit
...more
Clare O'Beara
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hyperborea was a supposed continent at the North Pole. This book spends much time discussing the Pole Star, what ancients thought about it, why it was reliable for navigation. Then the continent that might lie at the north, and trigonometry.

I am not disputing the scholarliness of the author or work; I did find it somewhat dry and a huge amount - more than half - concerns itself with legend, early philosophy and cartography, without getting near Polar exploration. So, for readers who want to
...more
Katrina
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5

I wouldn't normally go for a book like this but the description intrigued me and I have to say it didn't disappoint in the slightest. Bravo writes in an accessible and compelling fashion so even the more academic parts within the sections didn't feel tool overwhelming. The book covers a lot of ground, from the North Pole's place in mythologies of civilisations to philosophical thought - as well as everything else in between.

While the Bravo does tend to name drop a bit and I was bit put out
...more
Kirsten never has enough time
Hot damn who knew there was so much to learn about the history of the North Pole. Intensely interesting if a bit dry at points.
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