Fourth World

Sam Hall, Author Alfred A. Knopf $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-394-55942-1
From first European contact to the present time, the Arctic has been exploited. The advent of whalers and traders started the erosion of Eskimo culture, a process accelerated by missionaries. Today, business (oil), military and political interests threaten the equilibrium of a delicate environment and the entire northern hemisphere. British journalist Hall, who has traveled throughout the Arctic for many years, here writes a powerful and moving story of the Far North, its people and an ominous future. Nineteen separate tribes inhabit the Soviet and Scandinavian Arctic, including the Lapps (Sami), who in appearance closely resemble the Eskimos (Inuit) of Greenland, Alaska and Canada. Their traditional hunting culture has been replaced or restricted, and they are second-class citizens in their respective countries. Hall chronicles the transformation from Stone Age to Space Age, comparing the plight of the Eskimos to that of the Lapps. He looks at current development in the Arctic: huge dams in Canada and Scandinavia, expanding cities and heavy industry in Siberia, oil and mineral exploration in North America, bigger and more efficient icebreakers for commercial traffic, military maneuvering. It is too late to stop development, argues Hall, but there is still time to control it. This is an important and timely book. Nature Book Society alternate. (June 15)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
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