Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic
- Winner of the William Mills Prize for Polar Books which "honours the best Arctic or Antarctic nonfiction book published throughout the world in the past two years."
- White Eskimo was also shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Award for History and the Alberta Literary Award for Non-Fiction.
"Is Knud Rasmussen the most remarkable polar explorer that few people have ever heard of? In White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey Into the Heart of the Arctic, Stephen R. Bown makes a good case that he is…White Eskimo—the first English-language biography of Knud Rasmussen—offers much pleasure. Mr. Bown's prose is clear and lively, and while he clearly believes that Rasmussen was an extraordinary man, he doesn't dodge Rasmussen's flaws."
– Wall Street Journal
"[A] fine biography…Nicely structured in four parts, the book is well written, well researched, and insightful."
– Hakai Magazine
"As Stephen Bown reveals in this masterful biography, [Rasmussen] was also an Arctic Richard Francis Burton, publishing key anthropological works on Inuit culture in Canada and Greenland."
"An opportunistic charmer, [Rasmussen] chronicled not just the geography, but the lives, customs and oral history of the indigenous people wherever he travelled, and the story of his life is one long adventure. "
– Burnaby Now
"Bown takes readers into the frozen landscape of Greenlandâ€¦[An] informative and entertaining biographyâ€¦Vivid and detailedâ€¦A well-rounded portrait of the explorer and his life."
– Shelf Awareness
"This is a book of one of the last heroic explorers of the earth, full of poems, songs and stories of the far north. Rasmussen often seems larger than life yet is very approachable. The author evokes a marvelous sense of wonder at the man, his time and his life."
– San Diego Book Review
"Succeeds both as a well-researched account and a loving, humanizing portrait of this uniquely gifted writer and pioneerâ€¦Bown's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious, and his research efforts are truly impressiveâ€¦Those enthralled by tales of Polar expeditions will find much to celebrate in this lucidly written and well-paced biography."
"An adventurer at heart, Rasmussen survived blizzards, traced migrations routes, and documented ancient ways of life in remote regions ... fascinating true-life story of a dedicated explorer who contributed enormously to human knowledge and understanding. "
– Midwest Bookreview
"A significant addition to the narrative literature of polar exploration ... [Rasmussen] was brave, intelligent, efficient, charismatic and persevering. In the history of arctic exploration, he is a singular figure. Hats off to Stephen Bown for bringing him to life."
– Alberta Views
"Stephen Bown is one of this country's favourite popular historians . . . As usual with Bown, this is an insightful biography filled with the stuff of the Arctic; dog sleds, Inuit hunters, compelling expeditions. Indeed, in the history of northern exploration Rasmussen stands nearly at the top along with Amundsen, Franklin, and the explorers of the Hudson's Bay Company."
– Sun Times
Bown does not produce a dry academic tomes, his historical figures have a taste for adventure and tend to embark on epic odysseys with all-or-nothing abandon. . . . Bown wanted White Eskimo to shine a light on a figure who is little known in North America, where tales of Arctic exploration tend to be dominated by the doomed British expeditions."
– Calgary Herald
"I Highly recommend White Eskimo for anyone interested in the transitional days of Arctic exploration, adventure, and Bown's keen insight into the life and events that shaped Dr. Knud Rasmussen into the extraordinary person he became."
"Bown captures both [Rasmussen's] charisma and soulful side in a biography full of wonder and peril."
– Discover magazine, December 2015
"Succeeds both as a well-researched account and a loving, humanizing portrait of this uniquely gifted writer and pioneerÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Bown's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious, and his research efforts are truly impressiveÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Those enthralled by tales of Polar expeditions will find much to celebrate in this lucidly written and well-paced biography."
– Foreword, Winter 2015
Bown has done an excellent job of bringing Rasmussen to life-another first-rate entry from this accomplished writer.
Readers of Arctic cultures and exploration should clamor for this joyous celebration of Rasmussen's life.
– Library Journal
"In the history of Arctic exploration Knud Rasmussen stands alone, a brilliant anthropologist, an explorer of relentless determination, an entrepreneur of adventure, and a man who moved effortlessly between cultural worlds because he was truly a child of both. This compelling book is a marvelous tribute to an extraordinary explorer and the lands and peoples who made him great."
– Wade Davis, author of Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
"At last a book about Knud Rasmussen in English...and at last readers on this side of the Atlantic can discover what a Renaissance man Rasmussen was - explorer, ethnographer, author, film-maker, and raconteur! I tip my toque to Stephen Bown for bringing the great Dane to our attention."
– Lawrence Millman, author of Last Places and Hiking to Siberia
"A thorough, insightful biography ... Bown emphasizes the sheer vitality and charisma of Rasmussen, who shared his celebrity spotlight with the Inuit hunters, dog-sled drivers, and others who were key to the success of the expeditions. A vivacious study that will surely revive interest in the writings of this towering explorer and ethnographer. "
– Kirkus Reviews