Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait by Bathsheba Demuth

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Shortlisted for the Pushkin House Book Prize 2020

A ground-breaking exploration of the relationship between humans and the natural world where two great economic ideologies converge.

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, the area became the site of an experiment and the modern ideologies of production and consumption, capitalism and communism were subject to the pressures of arctic scarcity.

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 post-industrial age, Floating Coast delivers warnings and poses provocative questions about human desires and needs in relation to environmental sustainability.