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Richly populated with fascinating northlanders, Native Americans, and many border patrol agents, this is highly entertaining...

The life and times of America’s other border.

The southern border of the United States gets all the attention, but it’s barely half as long as the northern border; its story is “a tale of early mistakes, and more than two centuries of fixes.” Fox (Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow, 2013), a Maine native (he now lives in New York) and editor of the travel journal Nowhere, took a coast-to-coast, two-year journey weaving in and out of a boundary that, “on paper, looks like a discarded thread—twisted and kinked in parts, tight as a bowstring in others,” to see it firsthand and to recount its rich history. He didn’t make an itinerary: “I packed a canoe, tent, maps, and books and headed for the line.” He began one chilly October morning in Lubec, America’s easternmost border town near Passamaquoddy Bay. In June 1604, writes the author, Frenchman Samuel de Champlain entered the bay with two large boats and a crew of 150 to begin his own exploring. Throughout, Fox chronicles in detail Champlain’s adventures, good and bad, as well as those of many other explorers and adventurers from the border’s past. This gives the book an added richness, providing helpful historical context to the places the author visits. Early on, Fox’s trip almost ended when he nearly capsized a small outboard boat in high waves in below-freezing Sandy Bay. He recounts that in 1775, the Continental army attempted a doomed invasion of Canada, and in the 1920s and ’30s, a U.S. planning committee even “drew up plans to seize Canada.” In Montreal, Fox hitched a ride on a “moving skyscraper,” the freighter Equinox, as he traversed the Great Lakes. In eastern North Dakota, he got caught up in Indian protests over the oil pipeline.

Richly populated with fascinating northlanders, Native Americans, and many border patrol agents, this is highly entertaining and informative travel literature.

Pub Date: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-393-24885-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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