Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait

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$27.95  $25.99
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.6 X 9.4 inches | 1.65 pounds

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About the Author

Bathsheba Demuth is an environmental historian at Brown University, specializing in the United States and Russia, and in the history of energy and past climates. She has lived in and studied Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America.


In a time when human desire bends so very much of what it encounters to its own image, Bathsheba Demuth's debut encourages us to think about the very physical limits of such a proposition. Easily one of the most innovative and poetic natural histories I have read in years.--Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore
A superb book, essential reading for students of the once-and-future Arctic.
A cautionary, instructive tale highly recommended for readers with an interest in environmental conservation.
Brilliant, compelling, and beautifully executed...Bathsheba Demuth writes with the poetry and wisdom of the land and the sea, drawing the human-wrought past of a faraway place close to the lives and future of us all.--Jack E. Davis, author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea
A poetic meditation on the devastations of modernity in the sea, on terra firma, and, eventually, belowground. Whale hunters and reindeer herders, greedy capitalists and utopian planners, hopeful prospectors and raw-material-hungry government bureaucrats appear on the stage in this analytically powerful book, a monument to a people and their land just as much as an allegory of the world we have created.--Sven Beckert, author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History
With her pleasing prose, relentless research, and profound sense of place, Bathsheba Demuth does elegant justice to the social and environmental revolutions that define the modern history of Beringia, and to the stories of indigenous communities and diverse newcomers, of gold rush and gulag, of whales and caribou.--John McNeill, author of Something New Under the Sun
Bathsheba Demuth's history flows as richly and fluidly as Arctic waters. As she tracks the dynamics of the modernist ecological makeover of the Bering Strait, Demuth is inventing a new form of historical narrative.--Kate Brown, author of Manual for Survival
Floating Coast is an extraordinary piece of history writing, seamlessly weaving together disparate elements. It is astonishingly rich in ethnographic detail, ecological precision, economic circumstance and historical texture. Most illuminating and original is Demuth's focus on the circulation of matter--in flesh, on hoof, inside fur and hide, and in buried minerals.--Sverker Sörlin
Floating Coast is a historian's Moby Dick, a great white whale of a book that spans centuries and links landscapes, living beings, and the flux of time, into a marvelously readable narrative.--Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement