by Barry Lopez; Charles Scribner’s Sons; 464 pages; $22.95.
The far, far north is another world on earth, a place where night and day and nature and distance and human life as we know them are obliterated and replaced by something different and wonderful. Barry Lopez, author of the prizewinning study Of Wolves and Men, spent four years traveling across the upper reaches of North America and beyond. When he returned, he wrote a masterful volume that combines natural and human history to explore not only the land of the Arctic but the strange fascination it has held for subarctic man over the centuries. In doing so he throws light as well on modern man’s troubled relationship with our dazzling planet.