"Like the whale, the polar bear is a seismographic animal, its fate a sensory prediction of our own. Michael Engelhard's gorgeous synoptic survey of this icy cultural symbol speaks to this terrible, wonderful beauty, a paradoxical emblem of a world out of kilter. Beautifully written and tellingly illustrated, Engelhard's Ice Bear sits on top of our world, regnant, threatened, intrinsically and endlessly evocative of the ever vexed meeting of human and natural history."
-Philip Hoare, author of The Sea Inside
"A great book about the greatest and most formidable of polar predators."
-Richard Ellis, author of On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear
"Engelhard's writing has the sort of calm authority that reminds me often of Barry Lopez."
"Engelhard's thought-provoking iconography explores in depth the multitude of cultural roles played by the polar bear."
-David Fox, Anchorage Press
"Essayist and wilderness guide Engelhard examines the intertwined history of polar bears and humans in this fascinating look at how we have interpreted the species. . . . Of particular interest now as polar ice melts."
-Nancy Bent, Booklist
"'Iconic' is the marketing cliché of our times, applied as unthinkingly to wildlife as it is to biscuits. But here, Michael Engelhard digs deeper, tracing how the polar bear came to occupy its place in contemporary culture and, in the process, suggesting what the mechanics of iconography say about us."
-Mike Unwin, BBC Wildlife Magazine
"Engelhard is a first-rate guide and very capable writer; Ice Bear makes fascinating reading - although grimly ironic, since the future of the polar bear in the wild has never looked bleaker."
-Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly
"The product of Engelhard's exhaustive research is an eclectic, comprehensive, compelling, and very readable cultural iconography elevated to a level of art form by the inclusion of well-chosen and often stunning illustrations on almost every page. Ice Bear is a visual National Geographic with real verbal punch!"
-Marilyn Gates, New York Journal of Books
"Engelhard, a Fairbanks resident, is trained as a cultural anthropologist and works as a wilderness guide in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The combination makes him uniquely qualified to have authored this fascinating and extensively illustrated exploration of humanity's deeply complicated relationship with an animal he is well acquainted with."
-David A. James, Alaska Dispatch News
"Eminently readable. This work is expertly researched."
-Susan Sommer, Alaska Magazine
"[A] beautifully illustrated, hugely engaging book. . . . For all its nightmare-haunting power, however, the aspect of the polar bear that really makes it an icon of the age is its vulnerability . . . . Another merit of the book is the author's willingness to track these themes to their origins."
-Mark Cocker, The Spectator