Through Siberia, the Land of the Future

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In August 1913, the explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930), who later received the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work, set off from Norway to find a sea route across the north of the Eurasian continent. This 'north-east passage' had been the goal of explorers since the sixteenth century, but Nansen's object, as he puts it, was 'to open up a regular trade connexion with the interior of Siberia, via the Kara Sea and the mouth of the Yenisei'. By the time the book was published in English translation in 1914, the First World War had begun, and the need for ways to keep supplies and troops moving between Russia and her western allies made it even more timely. Nansen's delightfully written account of 'the land of the future' remains of value to anyone seeking to find out more about the geography, resources, and native peoples of Siberia.