Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn February 16, 1845, George Kennan was born in Norwalk, Ohio. Before he turned 20, Kennan was on a ship to the remote Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, on an expedition to establish the world’s first telegraph line from Europe and Asia to North America. That endeavor failed, as an undersea cable was laid beneath the Atlantic Ocean before Kennan’s longer cable could be laid. Kennan’s two years in isolated Kamchatka, however, began his career as a journalist and explorer.Kennan returned to Russia several times, documenting the stark beauty and surprising biodiversity of the Siberian wilderness. He also wrote about the culture and traditions of Siberia’s Arctic peoples, such as the Korak, Chukchi, and Yakut. The last time he visited Russia, Kennan reported on its harsh prison system—and was promptly banned from ever returning to the country.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Arctic Noun
region at Earth's extreme north, encompassed by the Arctic Circle.
Encyclopedic Entry: Arctic biodiversity Noun
all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.
Encyclopedic Entry: biodiversity cable Noun
strong set of cords or wire ropes.
learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.
to keep track of.
large-scale undertaking or attempt.
to form or officially organize.
journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.
person who studies unknown areas.
person who controls and takes responsibility for a group of animals such as sheep, cattle, or horses.
to set one thing or organism apart from others.
theory that civilizations move from primitive to technologically advanced, and that the advanced civilizations are the wealthiest, most powerful and most democratic.
National Geographic Society Noun
(1888) organization whose mission is "Inspiring people to care about the planet."
piece of land jutting into a body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: peninsula prison Noun
buildings that house convicted criminals and people accused of a crime and awaiting trial.
on time or quickly.
distant or far away.
region of land stretching across Russia from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
severe, striking, or clear-cut.
dry, flat grassland with no trees and a cool climate.
Encyclopedic Entry: steppe telegraph Noun
system of communication involving devices connected through electrical wires.
trade route Noun
path followed by merchants or explorers to exchange goods and services.
beliefs, customs, and cultural characteristics handed down from one generation to the next.
an opening in the Earth's crust, through which lava, ash, and gases erupt, and also the cone built by eruptions.
Encyclopedic Entry: volcano wilderness Noun
environment that has remained essentially undisturbed by human activity.
Encyclopedic Entry: wilderness