Books: Voyage to the Aleutians

THE AMERICAN EXPEDITION (236 pp.)—Sven Waxell—Macmillan ($3).

Where lie the farthest limits of northern Asia? Peter the Great did not know, and he wanted to. So, in 1725, Czar Peter sent a Dane named Vitus Bering and 33 men to poke around in Kamchatka, and especially to find out whether a land bridge connected Asia and North America. Bering proved the continents separate by sailing through the straits between them, but Peter's successor, the Empress Anne, was not altogether convinced.

In 1732 she dispatched a party which grew to an imposing 3,000 men, again...

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