Running With Reindeer

Running With Reindeer

Encounters in Russian Lapland

Book - 2004
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Baker & Taylor
Documents his exploration of the wilderness of the Russian Lapland, discussing his experiences in a harsh but beautiful and pristine world among a community of indigenous Saami who make their living as hunters and reindeer herders and assessing the impact of the new economy on their lives. 30,000 first printing.

Perseus Publishing
Exploring the wilderness of the Russian Lapland, Took shares his adventures spent with a reindeer-herding and hunting community on the fringes of the modern world

Russian Lapland, a region of amazing contrasts. Here lies the last true wilderness of Europe, a rich and pristine ecosystem teeming with bird and animal life. But here too lie the dark, satanic mills of the former Soviet Union and the rotting remnants of nuclear submarines. Running with Reindeer is the first account in over a century to describe life in this harsh but beautiful land. Living among remote reindeer-herding and hunting families, Roger Took spends a decade following the lives and traditions of the indigenous Lapps, or Saami. He meets pioneering villagers descended from medieval Novgorod fur-traders who are now learning to cope with the new economy, and the men and women originally forced north to mine Russian Lapland's fabulous mineral wealth but are now unemployed and stranded. Avoiding the still vigilant security services, he explores the naval bases where nuclear-powered submarines are lying dangerously neglected. His encounters with the land and its inhabitants are dramatic and comical as well as emotionally disturbing and physically dangerous. Moving between the lines of the official histories, coping with arduous Arctic conditions, he writes compellingly, offering a vivid account of a unique part of Europe.

Book News
Took is a London art historian and museum curator who now spends much of the year in the field with a Russian research team of naturalists, archaeologists, anthropologists, and reindeer specialists. He describes the natural and built landscape of Murmansk oblast , also called the Kola Peninsula, north of the White Sea, and the lives of Saami families struggling to retain their traditions of herding and hunting. The 2003 edition was published by John Murray, London. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Blackwell North Amer
After the Civil War of 1918-20 the Bolsheviks' development of Russia's far north-west corner - involving forced collectivization, land clearances, slave labour and the suppression of the indigenous Lapps (Saami) - was so ruthless that the region's name could not be spoken without embarrassment. Renamed Murmansk oblast, Russian Lapland is now often referred to as the Kola Peninsula.
After the collapse of communism, Roger Took spent much of the decade living in Russian Lapland and was perhaps the first foreigner since 1910 to explore it extensively. In Running with Reindeer he describes not only the Soviet mining towns and the great Arctic port of Murmansk - home to the nuclear Northern Fleet - but also the 'lost' areas, long closed to Russians and foreigners alike. Travelling across tundra and taiga, through wetlands and forests, and in all seasons, he finds a pristine wilderness full of wildlife and rivers teeming with fish.
He follows the lives of Saami families struggling to retain their traditions of herding and hunting; pioneer villagers descended from medieval Novgorod fur-traders and fishermen and now coping with the new economy; and men and women originally sent north to mine Russian Lapland's fabulous mineral wealth but now unemployed and stranded. And as nuclear submarines rot and old industries crumble, he observes how New Russian biznes is creating wealth in its own way.

Publisher: Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c2004
Description: xii, 365 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780813342108
Branch Call Number: 914.717 Too


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