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From Botswana to the Bering Sea: My Thirty Years With National Geographic

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National Geographic has been called a window on the world and a passport to adventure. Each month an estimated forty million people in 190 countries open its pages and are transported to exotic realms that delight the eye and mind. Such widespread renown gives the magazine's writers an almost magical access to people and happenings, as doors that are closed to the rest of National Geographic has been called a window on the world and a passport to adventure. Each month an estimated forty million people in 190 countries open its pages and are transported to exotic realms that delight the eye and mind. Such widespread renown gives the magazine's writers an almost magical access to people and happenings, as doors that are closed to the rest of the journalistic world open wide. Thomas Y. Canby was fortunate to be a NationalGeographic writer and science editor from 1961 to 1991, a time during which the Society's ventures and size grew by leaps and bounds and the resources available to staff were seemingly limitless. In From Botswana to the Bering Sea, he gives readers an on-the-ground look at the life of a National Geographic field staffer and an insider's view of the fascinating dynamics within the magazine's editorial chambers. Canby's assignments dealt largely with issues of global concern, and his travels took him to the farthest reaches of the planet. This book gives the reader the visas and tickets to share in Canby's experiences -- from a Filipino rice harvest capped by a feast of deep-fried rats, to impoverished villages of Asia and Africa gripped by the world's most widespread famine, to seal hunting and dog sledding with Eskimos in the Canadian high Arctic. Readers match wits with paranoid guardians of the secret Soviet space program; skirt land mines in the flaming oil fields of Kuwait; and dodge death while scuba diving to an archaeological site in a Florida sinkhole. The book also gives insight into the magazine's inner workings: how article subjects are chosen; how writers are assigned and interact; how prolonged trips to impossibly remote destinations are planned; how staffers operate in the field. Working for National Geographic has been called "the best job in the world." From Botswana to the Bering Sea describes that unique job, and answers from first-hand knowledge the question Canby and his colleagues are so often asked: "So, what is it like to work for National Geographic?"


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National Geographic has been called a window on the world and a passport to adventure. Each month an estimated forty million people in 190 countries open its pages and are transported to exotic realms that delight the eye and mind. Such widespread renown gives the magazine's writers an almost magical access to people and happenings, as doors that are closed to the rest of National Geographic has been called a window on the world and a passport to adventure. Each month an estimated forty million people in 190 countries open its pages and are transported to exotic realms that delight the eye and mind. Such widespread renown gives the magazine's writers an almost magical access to people and happenings, as doors that are closed to the rest of the journalistic world open wide. Thomas Y. Canby was fortunate to be a NationalGeographic writer and science editor from 1961 to 1991, a time during which the Society's ventures and size grew by leaps and bounds and the resources available to staff were seemingly limitless. In From Botswana to the Bering Sea, he gives readers an on-the-ground look at the life of a National Geographic field staffer and an insider's view of the fascinating dynamics within the magazine's editorial chambers. Canby's assignments dealt largely with issues of global concern, and his travels took him to the farthest reaches of the planet. This book gives the reader the visas and tickets to share in Canby's experiences -- from a Filipino rice harvest capped by a feast of deep-fried rats, to impoverished villages of Asia and Africa gripped by the world's most widespread famine, to seal hunting and dog sledding with Eskimos in the Canadian high Arctic. Readers match wits with paranoid guardians of the secret Soviet space program; skirt land mines in the flaming oil fields of Kuwait; and dodge death while scuba diving to an archaeological site in a Florida sinkhole. The book also gives insight into the magazine's inner workings: how article subjects are chosen; how writers are assigned and interact; how prolonged trips to impossibly remote destinations are planned; how staffers operate in the field. Working for National Geographic has been called "the best job in the world." From Botswana to the Bering Sea describes that unique job, and answers from first-hand knowledge the question Canby and his colleagues are so often asked: "So, what is it like to work for National Geographic?"

32 review for From Botswana to the Bering Sea: My Thirty Years With National Geographic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    Interesting read. Canby worked for The National Geographic in different capacities during a career that spanned 30 years. Only thing I disliked about this memoir, is how often he talks about how lucky he is to have worked for The National Geographic. I agree that he is lucky, and that he is obviously talented to first get and then hold on to such a job, but it seemed unnecessary to repeat the same thing over and over again. Also, much of his writing and memories made him come across as cocky. Of Interesting read. Canby worked for The National Geographic in different capacities during a career that spanned 30 years. Only thing I disliked about this memoir, is how often he talks about how lucky he is to have worked for The National Geographic. I agree that he is lucky, and that he is obviously talented to first get and then hold on to such a job, but it seemed unnecessary to repeat the same thing over and over again. Also, much of his writing and memories made him come across as cocky. Of course, if I had the career he did, I may come across that way as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deborah aka Reading Mom

    This book provides a fascinating account, not only of Mr. Canbys' years at National Geographic and his travels as a science writer for the journal, but also intriguing insights into the "behind the scenes" workings of the Society itself. For those of us who have grown up with the Geographic, learning how subjects for articles are chosen, the process involved in a project from start to finish, details regarding research, care taken of the field workers (shots, immunizations, medical treatment kit This book provides a fascinating account, not only of Mr. Canbys' years at National Geographic and his travels as a science writer for the journal, but also intriguing insights into the "behind the scenes" workings of the Society itself. For those of us who have grown up with the Geographic, learning how subjects for articles are chosen, the process involved in a project from start to finish, details regarding research, care taken of the field workers (shots, immunizations, medical treatment kits for the field), and much more little-known information makes this a super read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robin Mandell

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tearsurfjoy

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt Smith

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Prinsloo

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jo

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Boerm

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jarda Kubalik

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Boerm

    Great adventure read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bin

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pete

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Fetterley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rick Hammond

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette Keane

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brian Mcmorrow

  20. 5 out of 5

    Connie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Siddartha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chieko

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lindis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lenora

  25. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

  26. 4 out of 5

    C Fryberger

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yoko

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vinayak Hegde

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ras Salassie

  31. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  32. 5 out of 5

    Robin

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