Island of the Blue Foxes by Stephen R. Brown

Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on the World’s Greatest Scientific Expedition by Stephen R. Brown is an overdue look at one of history’s unheralded explorers – Vitus Bering.

The Bering Straits are named after Bering because he organized and led two expeditions to eastern Siberia – one of which also explored some of the waters and land in Alaska.

Brown brings a balanced account of the man who helped open up eastern Siberia to Russian development. His expeditions brought new understanding of Siberia and the waters and animals off Siberia and Alaska – many new species were discovered (unfortunately, some now extinct).

Although not always strong in leadership (as Brown adroitly points out in numerous occasions), Bering’s organization and planning saved the lives of many of those on the expeditions. He meticulously planned the best route to cross Siberia (even then it was hazardous to the men in the expeditions) and cached supplies along the route.

Excellent story on how one man’s organization saved many men and opened a largely unexplored area of the world.

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