Cover image for Tip of the iceberg : my 3,000-mile journey around wild Alaska, the last great American frontier / Mark Adams.
Title:
Tip of the iceberg : my 3,000-mile journey around wild Alaska, the last great American frontier / Mark Adams.
Title Variants:
My three thousand-mile journey around wild Alaska, the last great American frontier
ISBN:
9781101985106
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Dutton, An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]
Physical Description:
xi, 323 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Abstract:
"In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized a most unusual summer voyage to the wilds of Alaska: He converted a steamship into a luxury "floating university," populated by some of America's best and brightest scientists and writers, including the anti-capitalist eco-prophet John Muir. Those aboard encountered a land of immeasurable beauty and impending environmental calamity. More than a hundred years later, Alaska is still America's most sublime wilderness, both the lure that draws a million tourists annually on Inside Passage cruises and a natural resources larder waiting to be raided. As ever, it remains a magnet for weirdos and dreamers. Armed with Dramamine and an industrial-strength mosquito net, Mark Adams sets out to retrace the 1899 expedition. Using the state's intricate public ferry system, the Alaska Marine Highway System, Adams travels three thousand miles, following the George W. Elder's itinerary north through Wrangell, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, then continuing west into the colder and stranger regions of the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle. Along the way, he encounters dozens of unusual characters (and a couple of very hungry bears) and investigates how lessons learned in 1899 might relate to Alaska's current struggles in adapting to the pressures of a changing climate and world." -- Amazon.com.
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Summary

Summary

In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized a most unusual summer voyage to the wilds of Alaska- He converted a steamship into a luxury "floating university," populated by some of America's best and brightest scientists and writers, including the anti-capitalist eco-prophet John Muir. Those aboard encountered a land of immeasurable beauty and impending environmental calamity. More than a hundred years later, Alaska is still America's most sublime wilderness, both the lure that draws a million tourists annually on Inside Passage cruises and a natural resources larder waiting to be raided. As ever, it remains a magnet for weirdos and dreamers.

Armed with Dramamine and an industrial-strength mosquito net, Mark Adams sets out to retrace the 1899 expedition. Using the state's intricate public ferry system, the Alaska Marine Highway System, Adams travels three thousand miles, following the George W. Elder 's itinerary north through Wrangell, Juneau, and Glacier Bay, then continuing west into the colder and stranger regions of the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle. Along the way, he encounters dozens of unusual characters (and a couple of very hungry bears) and investigates how lessons learned in 1899 might relate to Alaska's current struggles in adapting to climate change.


Author Notes

Mark Adams is an American journalist and bestselling author. His work has appeared in numerous national publications, including: EPSN: The Magazine, GQ, New York and The New Yorker. His latest book is entitled Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Lost City. He is also the author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu and Mr. America.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Travel writer Adams (Meet Me in Atlantis) wonderfully recounts, and emulates, the 1899 voyage organized by railroad tycoon Edward Harriman to survey the coast of Alaska. Using the writings of Harriman and his team of natural scientists-including John Muir, at that time the leading writer on the "relatively new" subject of wilderness protection-Adams follows along the Harriman expedition's trail to compare what it found during its two-month, 3,000-mile adventure to present-day Alaska. Making "every important stop" that the Harriman team did, Adams details the state's natural beauty, as well as the changes that have taken place since. For example, the town of Ketchikan, which in 1899 consisted only of a salmon cannery and a few buildings, is now Alaska's sixth-largest city, and Yakutat, whose "total isolation" had made it known for "attracting the most extreme dropouts," is now Alaska's "unlikely surf capital." He also gives an excellent account of the history and impact of the oil industry and climate change on Alaska: "The thinning ice that promises a potential boom for Nome's economy and global shipping companies dooms Shismaref [an Inupiat fishing village] to near-certain disaster." Adams gives readers an eye-opening look at the past and present history of a fascinating region. Agent: Daniel Greenberg: Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. -Harriman organized a summer voyage into wild Alaska. He converted a steamship into a luxury "floating university," sailing north with some of America's best-known scientists and writers, including Sierra Club founder John Muir, who'd visited Alaska several times before and was considered an expert on its glaciers but was initially uncertain about joining Harriman owing to their political differences. Travel writer Adams (Meet Me in Atlantis) retraces the Harriman expedition via the state's intricate public ferry system and the Alaska Marine Highway. More than 100 years later, Alaska maintains its sublime wilderness, attracting millions of tourists yearly, who take Inside Passage cruises, docking in remote, picturesque Alaskan towns flanked by snow-capped peaks. Adams travels 3,000 miles, following the Harriman itinerary through the Inside Passage and continuing into the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle. He compares the accounts of the Harriman expedition to what he uncovers on his own journey. Along the way, he encounters the state's eclectic population, including its well-known bears. VERDICT Recommended for general readers interested in Alaska's environment and history. [See Prepub Alert, 12/4/17.]-Gary Medina, El Camino Coll., Torrance, CA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.