Poole's book gives an interesting and personal account of the family dynasty that ran the National Geographic Society, starting with its founding by Alexander Graham Bell and Gardiner Greene Hubbard in 1888. The racist views of the editors cannot be combed away from the content of the publication, and their importance is not comparable to other positions that we now view as pseudoscientific.
A former NatGeo editor, Poole mainly explores the creation and continuity of the society (primarily the magazine) through following the co-mingling of the Bell and Grosvenor families in great detail. And yes, I am now a member of the National Geographic Society. Not a subscriber, but a member, mind you.
A significant portion of the narrative covers National Geographic's role in promoting Robert Peary's controversial claim that he was the first explorer to reach the North Pole.
Explorers House: The National Geographic & the World It Made by Robert Poole, Executive Editor at the National Geographic for more than 20 years, documents the long history of this iconic American institution with a global reach, a magazine that considered itself 1st & foremost a society of elected members rather than mere journal subscribers. This seemed a bit cryptic to me at the time but Robert Poole offers testimony that while aiming for cross-cultural coverage with its photo images, the NGS retained a rather racist & anti-Semitic stance through much of its history, including during the reign of Gilbert Grosvenor, whose father "regarded Jews as another tribe, strange & apart, not equal to his own social order." Founded as a Not-for-Profit venture & initially an obscure learned organization, for most of its history, the National Geographic subscribers had to be "nominated" for membership, though the process of nomination was always rather informal and absent were any initiation rituals or secret oaths. The National Geographic has played at least a small role in the lives of many of us and today it is a much-expanded operation, with other magazines, including one aimed at children and book & television-film media divisions, as well as the core magazine, the subscriber base for which appears much diminished due to changing social tastes and the move away from print and towards digital media.
This was pretty nifty, essentially a biography of the family that had the reins of the National Geographic Society and magazine for most of its history, starting with Alexander Graham Bell and then continuing with his son-in-law, grandson, and great-grandson. And inasmuch as I personally have fond memories of National Geographic (and World - honestly, I still bring up trivia facts I learned from reading World), the author is candid about the aspects of the organization's history that probably weren't quite so endearing for the people involved.
buku sejarah yang ditulis secara komprehensif oleh seorang redaktur yang terlibat selama kurang lebih 20 tahun bersama national geographic.
It's fitting that Poole authored this detailed and critical history of the National Geographic Society http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ and its founding family.