Few truly great books have been written about polar bears, certainly not as many as have been written about grizzly bears. Richard Ellis's "On Thin Ice", Nikita Ovsyanikov's "Polar Bears: Living With the White Bear", and Ian Stirling's "Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species" come immediately to mind. Now Michael Engelhard's "Ice Bear" joins the ranks as one of the best works devoted to these elusive animals.
Unlike most authors, Engelhard focuses not on the bear's biology but on its cultural history; from myths and legends to religious beliefs and even sexuality; from hunting tales to Arctic expeditions; from cuddly "celebrities" like Knut to the perils and pitfalls of training polar bears for the circus, while presenting wonderful photographs, paintings, and Native arts and crafts along the way. In the end a clear picture is presented of the polar bear as one of the most powerful and resilient animals in the world, not as the anthropomorphized cuddly teddy of human imagination or as the relentless man-eater of Arctic lore and legend.
This was easily one of the best books I've read on the subject of polar bears with information that kept me turning pages. Highly recommended for any bear lover's collection!