An Eccentric Explorer, an Epic Journey, a Lost Age
by Reid Mitenbuler
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Pub Date 21 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 18 Apr 2023
The mesmerizing, larger-than-life tale of an eccentric adventurer who traversed some of the greatest frontiers of the twentieth century, from uncharted Arctic wastelands to the underground resistance networks of World War II.
Deep in the Arctic wilderness, Peter Freuchen awoke to find himself buried alive under the snow. During a sudden blizzard the night before, he had taken shelter underneath his dogsled and become trapped there while he slept. Now, as feeling drained from his body, he managed to claw a hole through the ice only to find himself in even greater danger: his beard, wet with condensation from his struggling breath, had frozen to his sled runners and lashed his head in place, exposing it to icy winds that needed only a few minutes to kill him… But if Freuchen could escape that, he could escape anything.
Freuchen’s life seemed ripped from the pages of an adventure novel—and provided fodder for many books of his own. A wildly eccentric Dane with an out-of-nowhere sense of humor, his insatiable curiosity drove him from the twilight years of Arctic exploration to the Golden Age of Hollywood, and from the burgeoning field of climate research to the Danish underground during World War II. He conducted jaw-dropping expeditions, survived a Nazi prison camp, and overcame a devastating injury that robbed him of his foot and very nearly his life. Through it all, he was guided not only by restlessness but also by ideals that were remarkably ahead of his time, championing Indigenous communities, environmental stewardship, and starting conversations that continue today.
Meticulously researched and grippingly written, Wanderlust is an unforgettable tale of daring and discovery, an inspiring portrait of restlessness and grit, and a powerful meditation on our relationship to the planet and our fellow human beings. Reid Mitenbuler’s exquisite book restores a heroic giant of the last century back into public view.
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