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Tent Life in Siberia

George Kennan

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ried without salt in the open air, are the food of the Kamchadals and of their dogs throughout the long, cold northern winter. During the summer, however, their bill of fare is more varied. The climate and soil of the river bottoms in southern Kamchatka admit of the cultivation of rye, potatoes, and turnips, and the whole peninsula abounds in animal life. Reindeer and black and brown bears roam everywhere over the mossy plains and through the grassy valleys; wild sheep and a species of ibex are not unfrequently found in the mountains; and millions upon millions of ducks, geese, and swans, in almost endless variety, swarm about every river and little marshy lake throughout the country. These aquatic fowls are captured in great multitudes while moulting by organised "drives" of fifty or seventy-five men in canoes, who chase the birds in one great flock up some narrow stream, at the end of which a huge net is arranged for their reception. They are then killed with clubs, cl. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Tent Life in Siberia is the story of an 1864 expedition to map out the route for a telegraph line across Siberia, connecting America with Europe. The story is told by George Kennon, who with three other Western Union employees, is assigned this seemingly impossible task. The narrative is lively and

This book is the single most well written travelogue I have encountered, which means of course that it was written over 100 years ago when people knew how to write, for an audience that would only ever see what the author has seen through his own words.

Mark Twain called George Kennan the funniest wr

Had to constantly remind myself that this REALLY happened and that it wasn't a fictional story. Fun but a little confusing due to lack of a map and place-names that have since changed or been lost to the intervening 130 years.

A gem. Written thirty years before any known human had set foot on the continent of Antarctica, the book describes vividly exploration in what was then the least-explored, least-described portion of the globe. Other goodreads reviewers have done my work of praising it as a narrative imbued with well

Account of the failed mission to start a telegraph service from Siberia to Alaska in the 1800's. DNF. Not my cup of tea...more

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