Douglas & McIntyre
White Eskimo

Book details:

October 2015
ISBN 978-1-77162-001-7
Hardcover
6" x 9"
384 pages
History / Expeditions & Discoveries HIS051000
$34.95 CAD

Awards

  • Stephen Bown shortlisted for Alberta Literary Award
  • White Eskimo a Finalist for a Canadian Authors Association Award
  • White Eskimo wins the William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books

Douglas & McIntyre

White Eskimo

Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic

The first full-scale biography of the dauntless explorer who opened up the culture, the language, and the life of the Arctic.


Though less known today than contemporaries like Amundsen and Peary, Knud Rasmussen (1879–1933) was one of the most intriguing of the great early 20th century Arctic explorers. Born and raised in Greenland, and part Inuit on his mother's side, Rasmussen could shoot a gun and harness a team of sled dogs by the time he was eight. Nevertheless he was well versed in the civilized arts and came to exploration after failing to make a career as an opera singer in Europe. He was obviously more at home on the ice floes than the stage, and undertook some of the most astounding feats of endurance in the annals of polar exploration including his record-setting 18,000-mile "Great Sled Journey"—the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled. More impressively, he travelled without the elaborate preparations and large support staffs employed by other explorers, surviving with only a few Inuit assistants and living off the land. He once explained his approach by saying, "[As a child] my playmates were native Greenlanders; from the earliest boyhood I played and worked with the hunters, so even the hardships of the most strenuous sledge-trips became pleasant routine for me."

Despite his extraordinary physical prowess, Rasmussen was one of the most intellectual of the great explorers, more interested in scientific study than glamorous feats, producing (among many other works) a ten-volume account documenting Inuit spirituality and culture, an accomplishment that earned him the title "the father of Eskimology."

In this first full-length biography, Stephen R. Bown brings Rasmussen's inspiring story to English readers in all its richness, giving White Eskimo the readability of a good novel.

About the Author

Stephen R. Bown

Stephen R. Bown

Stephen R. Bown is the author of many critically acclaimed, award-winning titles, including most recently White Eskimo (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015), ...

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News & Events for White Eskimo

  • Stephen R. Bown is the Winner of the 2016 William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books Read more >>
  • Stephen R. Bown Named a Finalist for a National Award Read more >>
  • Stephen Bown shortlisted for Alberta Literary Award Read more >>
  • A Q&A with award-winning author Stephen R. Bown Read more >>
  • Stephen Bown Goes Perfectly with a Nice Chardonnay Read more >>