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Terra Antarctica


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On grants from the National Science Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation, Fox traveled to the Antarctic, visited several research sites, and spoke at length with researchers and staff. Here the author intersperses the account of his journey with information on the history and exploration of the area; the history of cartographic methods, scientific illustration, and landscape painting; and the continent as a focus for scientific research. Though interesting and enjoyable, this book has a definite dual personality. The sections in which Fox shares his Antarctic experiences, tells of the people he met, and describes the researchers' work in lay terms are both absorbing and easy to read. But when he discusses his own research interests-cartography, illustration, landscape painting, the psychology of perception in barren landscapes-the tone turns academic. This makes it difficult to recommend this title unreservedly for public libraries, which should base their decision on their clientele. For academic libraries and libraries with polar collections, however, Terra Antarctica is essential.-Betty Galbraith, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A fascinating look at the 'windiest, coldest, highest, and driest continent on earth' and man's creative responses to it, this seems the perfect read after seeing The March of the Penguins."
"Fox gives us an enthralling guided tour of the human mind's attempt to make space into place, and land into landscape."
"If you read only one book about Antarctica, you won't go wrong choosing this one."
"Thoughtful and enjoyable on many fronts, Fox's uniquely fashioned chronicle of Antarctica brings into sharper focus the crucial symbiosis between art and science."

The environment of Antarctica, "the largest and most extreme desert on Earth," is so foreign to our visual expectations that we are almost unable to perceive it. For Fox (Playa Works), who studies the ways in which humans respond to such vast, empty spaces, it's the ideal location for examining the connection between cognition and extreme landscapes. In this insightful book, he chronicles his Antarctic sojourn during the austral summer of 2001-2002, recording his impressions of the landscape and the people who live at McMurdo Station on Ross Island and at Pole, a newer station a few hundred feet away from the South Pole. At the same time, he examines the works of the cartographers, painters and photographers who have depicted Antarctica from the days of the earliest explorations down to the present, showing how the human mind transforms pure space into landscape, then turns landscape into art. A fascinating look at the "windiest, coldest, highest, and driest continent on earth" and man's creative responses to it, this seems the perfect read after seeing The March of the Penguins. 40 color photos, 2 maps. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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