A seamless blend of travelogue, history and scientific treatise.



An unexpectedly fascinating look into a seemingly banal subject.

Alaska-based biologist Streever spent a year documenting the nature and science of cold. “Cold is a part of day-to-day life,” he writes, “but we often isolate ourselves from it, hiding in overheated houses and retreating to overheated climates, all without understanding what we so eagerly avoid.” With simple prose and a strikingly immediate present tense, the author carves landscapes, scientific processes and neat anthropological factoids out of the ice, a style guaranteed to transport readers into the unfamiliar—indeed, otherworldly—dimensions he describes. Streever, who uses science as a launching point for discussions of some of history’s most memorable events, renders complicated biological theories eminently understandable. His treatment of 1815, “The Year without Summer,” pieces together the seemingly unrelated events of an Indonesian volcano eruption, the origins of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the founding of the Mormon Church in a passage that will leave readers wholly impressed by the scope of the author’s grasp on his subject. There’s humor, too, in deftly crafted witticisms that pop up throughout the text: “When one reads past the stoicism and heroics, the history of polar exploration becomes one long accident report mixed with one long obituary”; “Cold, really, is like malaria. If it does not kill you, it will help you lose weight.” With aplomb, Streever charts a meandering course of the land around him, providing an enthralling tour through haunting arctic tundra, permafrost tunnels of 40,000-year-old ice and the winter dens of hibernating beasts.

A seamless blend of travelogue, history and scientific treatise.

Pub Date: July 22, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-04291-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2009

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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