Peter Stark

Author's Bio

Peter Stark was born in Wisconsin to an adventurous and outdoorsy family and began traveling when young in canoes, on skis, and also by more conventional means. He received a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology from Dartmouth College and a master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. After a brief stint in newspapers, and based in Missoula, Montana, he went on to work as a full-time freelance writer specializing in subjects on the outdoors and adventure, exploration history, wilderness and indigenous peoples, and the physiology of the human body under extreme stress.

His articles have appeared in Outside (where he is a long-time correspondent), Smithsonian, The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Men’s Journal and many other publications. His books include Driving to Greenland (essays about the Arctic, 1994); Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance (Ballantine Books, 2001); At the Mercy of the River: An Exploration of the Last African Wilderness (Ballantine, 2005); and The Last Empty Places: A Past and Present Journey Through the Blank Spots on the American Map (Ballantine, 2010).

His most recent book, Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire; a Story of Wealth, Ambition and Survival, tells the harrowing tale of the quest to settle a Jamestown-like colony on the Pacific Coast and will be published in March 2014 by Ecco/HarperCollins. More about Peter Stark’s books, articles and contact information can be found at peterstarkauthor.com.

Until the Teeth Fall Out of Your Head

One day, during your struggles, you look down at your thigh. You should see a familiar scar from an old childhood wound. But now that scar has begun to pull apart, skin separating, as if the stitched...

How to Survive a Scalping

On a forgotten day in 1811, a scalped head would not only shape the American West but refashion the geopolitical future of the entire North American continent.

The Hardest Way West

Five years after Lewis and Clark completed their famous mission, another more audacious expedition sets out for the Pacific. In this exclusive excerpt from the new book, Astoria, the legendary...

Home and Away

Peter Stark shares his amazing experiences living abroad in Brazil and traveling in South America for a year.

The Isles Have It

After 16 years of civil war, Mozambique is back in the bliss business, with 1,500 miles of Indian Ocean coastline, thriving coral reefs . . . and peace at hand

Let the Bad Times Roll

Adventure, big and small, is all about risk. The risk that things may go terribly wrong. That danger will finally cut off your credit and hit you with a hefty bill. That luck will flee the scene as...

The Tree Slayer

What does a naive environmentalist discover when he buys his own forest? He's got to log it to save it.

Last Time Around

The author's father traveled the world, shipped out on the last commercial sailing voyage around Cape Horn, and handed down a legacy of adventure. But his risk-taking spirit had a dark side—and...

A Trip Is Born

The dream is a brand-new river route through a vast, primordial, wildlife-rich wonderland on the verge of environmental salvation. The reality is what happens when a small band of marginally...