Ice Bear: The Cultural History of an Arctic Icon
This expensively produced, glossy book feels like an encyclopedia on a single subject, the polar bear, also called the white bear. Michael Engelhard has done exhaustive research on every aspect of the polar bear in Ice Bear. It is profusely illustrated with a visual of some sort on nearly every page: photos, sketches, maps, cartoons, advertisements, and illustrations of sculptures and etchings, all related to the polar bear. The illustrations have good captions with explanations and acknowledgements for their use. We find facts about the bear and stories related to it from prehistoric to modern times as well as stories of bear in zoos and circuses, and even a recipe of what to do should you have polar bear meat available to you. Engelhard’s writing is very enjoyable, and readers interested in the polar bear will have months of reading material. Apart from those in captivity, the polar bears’ range is mostly within the Arctic Circle; thus people who come across them are from northern Canada, Russia, Greenland, or Norway or are explorers of the Arctic. This book is both an academic treatise, with number superscripts referring to extensive notes, and reading for the interested public.
University of Washington Press
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