Book

“A brilliant hybrid…Often reminiscent to me of Barry Lopez's  Arctic Dreams  in its combination of rigorous research, intense looking and listening, and its clear ethical vision.” —  Robert Macfarlane, author of  Underland    “ Floating Coast  is a historian’s  Moby Dick,  a great white whale of a book that spans centuries and links landscapes, living beings, and the flux of time into a marvelously readable narrative.” -  Amitav Ghosh, author of  The Great Derangement  and  Gun Island    “In a time when human desire bends so very much of what it encounters to its own image, Demuth's debut encourages us to think about the very physical limits of such a proposition. Easily one of the most innovative and poetic natural histories I have read in years.” —  Elizabeth Rush, author of  Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore    “A poetic meditation on the devastations of modernity in the sea, on  terra firma  and, eventually, below ground. Whale hunters and reindeer herders, greedy capitalists and utopian planers, hopeful prospectors and raw material hungry government bureaucrats appear on the stage in this analytically powerful book, a monument to a people and their land just as much as an allegory of the world we have created.”—  Sven Beckert, author of  Empire of Cotton: A Global History    “Brilliant, compelling, and beautifully executed. Demuth writes with the poetry and wisdom of the land and the sea, drawing the human-wrought past of a faraway place close to the lives and future of us all.” —  Jack E. Davis, Pulitzer-prize winning author of  The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea    “Bathsheba Demuth’s history flows as richly and fluidly as Arctic waters.  Floating Coast  narrates the transmutation of nearly every object and idea into something else. As she tracks the dynamics of the modernist, ecological make-over of the Bering Strait, Demuth is inventing a new form of historical narrative.” —  Kate Brown, author of  Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future

“A brilliant hybrid…Often reminiscent to me of Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams in its combination of rigorous research, intense looking and listening, and its clear ethical vision.” — Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

Floating Coast is a historian’s Moby Dick, a great white whale of a book that spans centuries and links landscapes, living beings, and the flux of time into a marvelously readable narrative.” - Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement and Gun Island

“In a time when human desire bends so very much of what it encounters to its own image, Demuth's debut encourages us to think about the very physical limits of such a proposition. Easily one of the most innovative and poetic natural histories I have read in years.” — Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

“A poetic meditation on the devastations of modernity in the sea, on terra firma and, eventually, below ground. Whale hunters and reindeer herders, greedy capitalists and utopian planers, hopeful prospectors and raw material hungry government bureaucrats appear on the stage in this analytically powerful book, a monument to a people and their land just as much as an allegory of the world we have created.”— Sven Beckert, author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History

“Brilliant, compelling, and beautifully executed. Demuth writes with the poetry and wisdom of the land and the sea, drawing the human-wrought past of a faraway place close to the lives and future of us all.” — Jack E. Davis, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea

“Bathsheba Demuth’s history flows as richly and fluidly as Arctic waters. Floating Coast narrates the transmutation of nearly every object and idea into something else. As she tracks the dynamics of the modernist, ecological make-over of the Bering Strait, Demuth is inventing a new form of historical narrative.” — Kate Brown, author of Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future

“A deeply studied, deeply felt book that lays out a devastating but complex history of change, notes what faces us now, and dares us to imagine better.” - NPR

“Floating Coast is an extraordinary piece of history writing, seamlessly weaving together disparate elements. It is astonishingly rich in ethnographic detail, ecological precision, economic circumstance and historical texture.” - Nature

“This book has unsettled me like no other I’ve recently read…[Floating Coast] is brilliant.”
- Lucy Kogler, Literary Hub

“Floating Coast is rich, well researched and illuminating. It keeps under readers’ feet the vastness of Demuth’s expertise, as solid as a land bridge.” — The New York Times

“A superb book, essential reading for students of the once-and-future Arctic.”
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A cautionary, instructive tale highly recommended for readers with an interest in environmental conservation.”
- Library Journal (starred review)

Along the Bering Strait, through the territories of the Inupiat and Yupik in Alaska, and the Yupik and Chukchi in Russia, Bathsheba Demuth explores an ecosystem that has long sustained human beings. Yet when Americans and Europeans arrived with self-serving ideas of human progress, the Chukchi and Seward Peninsulas and surrounding waters became the site of an historical experiment. Here, the great modern ideologies of production and consumption, capitalism and communism, were subject to the pressures of arctic scarcity.

Whales and walruses, caribou and fox, gold and oil: through these resources Demuth draws a vivid portrait of the sweeping effects of turning ecological wealth into economic growth and state power over the past century and a half. More urgent in a warming climate, and as we seek new economic ideas for a postindustrial age, Floating Coast delivers necessary warnings and poses provocative questions about human desires and needs in relation to environmental sustainability.

Available August 20 from your local bookshop  Amazon Barnes & Noble Google Play | Indiebound Powell’s

Floating Coast book trailer