Do You See Ice?: Inuit and Americans at Home and Away by Karen Routledge
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Overview: Many Americans imagine the Arctic as harsh, freezing, and nearly uninhabitable. The living Arctic, however-the one experienced by native Inuit and others who work and travel there-is a diverse region shaped by much more than stereotype and mythology. Do You See Ice? presents a history of Arctic encounters from 1850 to 1920 based on Inuit and American accounts, revealing how people made sense of new or changing environments.
Routledge vividly depicts the experiences of American whalers and explorers in Inuit homelands. Conversely, she relates stories of Inuit who traveled to the northeastern United States and were similarly challenged by the norms, practices, and weather they found there. Standing apart from earlier books of Arctic cultural research-which tend to focus on either Western expeditions or Inuit life-Do You See Ice? explores relationships between these two groups in a range of northern and temperate locations. Based on archival research and conversations with Inuit Elders and experts, Routledge’s book is grounded by ideas of home: how Inuit and Americans often experienced each other’s countries as dangerous and inhospitable, how they tried to feel at home in unfamiliar places, and why these feelings and experiences continue to resonate today.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History