DISCOVERY: The Autobiography of Vilhjalmur Stefansson by Vilhjalmur Stefanson
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DISCOVERY: The Autobiography of Vilhjalmur Stefansson

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Stefansson, the Arctic explorer, has covered the most exciting material in this book in earlier books. But his explorations retain a cold, condensed beauty here. Inevitably, his Arctic years outshine in interest his later writing, lecturing, wealth, feuds, unsuccessful enterprises, celebrated friends, studies in diet and so forth, but every page reflects a vigorous life. Born in New Iceland near Winnipeg in 1879, by six years he had read the entire Old Testament aloud (Icelandic is a highly accessible language) and was bounding bookishly through world literature. Moving to Dakota at eighteen, he became a cowboy, dreaming of a Homeric herd of his own. Then his dream turned to discovering a law of life comparable to Darwin's theories. After Harvard, he set out on an expedition into the North where, under Stone Age conditions, he lived cheek by jowl with a rare tribe of ""blond Eskimos."" Controversy burst upon him when a Seattle newsman casually embroidered Stefansson's remarks to him, and he became notorious. With two other scientist-explorers he struck off again into the wastes and proved that men could live there indefinitely by hunting. After five years he returned to civilization and new controversy, this based upon the presumption that his rugged methods endangered the sponsoring of big-money expeditions. Written with considerable strength and with every danger felt.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill