White Fox and Icy Seas in the Western Arctic
How the fur trade changed the North and created the modern Arctic
In the early twentieth century, northerners lived and trapped in one of the world’s harshest environments. At a time when government services and social support were minimal or nonexistent, they thrived on the fox fur trade, relying on their energy, training, discipline, and skills. John R. Bockstoce, a leading scholar of the Arctic fur trade who also served as a member of an Eskimo whaling crew, explores the twentieth-century history of the Western Arctic fur trade to the outbreak of World War II, covering an immense region from Chukotka, Russia, to Arctic Alaska and the Western Canadian Arctic. This period brought profound changes to Native peoples of the North. To show its enormous impact, the author draws on interviews with trappers and traders, oral and written archival accounts, research in newspapers and periodicals, and his own field notes from 1969 to the present.
John R. Bockstoce is an independent scholar and author of award-winning books, monographs, and articles on the Arctic. He has worked at the Smithsonian, the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.