Book Reviews

The best journey in the world

The author grew up in working-class Britain, and had absolutely no idea that one day he would help Canadian team of scientists collect valuable data about the Arctic, specifically Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island way up north.

The trip started in 1957 with the goal of exploring and identifying landing sites for planes, and took only little time. The more involved objectives were geophysics, and topographical and meteorological surveys.

Arctic scientific projects, involve detailed planning before deprture, but ore importantly finding suitable scientists who can live in cramped tents, know how to cook, and to be able to get along with others over long periods.

People behave differently in cold climates and some tend to experience depressions.

Jim Lotz in this fascinating book, writes of the rewards of going to the extreme, and examines why people join polar expeditions. He also describes the harsh realities of the Arctic, as well as those of global warming which were noticeable in 1960’s.

While the book is about on Arctic expedition, it contains invaluable insights how educated people react, living in small groups under difficult conditions, change and behave sometimes with tragic results.

This is a book on a beautiful, quiet, super cold region, human behaviours, advance planning and putting huge projects together.

Although the book was published in 2006, it is as valid today as it was then, and will be important for people who think of studying meteorology, and human behaviour.

Highly recommended.

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