Reviewed: “In Those Days: Collected Writings on Arctic History: Inuit Biographies” by Kenn Harper

In Those DaysKenn Harper’s IN THOSE DAYS is an interesting look at the way in Europeans and Americans in the 1700 and 1800s viewed the Inuit people of North America and Europe. The Inuit were taken to Europe not as equals but as things to be studied by science and gawked at by the general public. Harper’s descriptions and summaries of what little historical record there is make it clear that the Inuit people worked hard not only in their village lives above the Arctic Circle but also when they found themselves in England being taught to read and write in the hope that they would become missionaries or in America for the winter as a guest of some whaling captain who wanted to help as much as he wanted to be the talk of the town.

The Inuit of Arctic history were treated by the Europeans and Americans as curiosities and sort of lesser human beings who needed to be guided and taught. Harper’s stories are forced to focus on that but they make it equally clear that the Inuit were and are very much more than that.

(I received a copy of IN THOSE DAYS through NetGalley and Inhabit Media in exchange for an honest & original review.)

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