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Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott are names familiar to most of us but few know the compelling details of their Antarctic explorations and those of other early explorers who opened the forbidding region to future discovery. In this single volume the author tells their story, voyage by voyage, in language that's as accessible to the general reader as it is to scholars and polar buffs.
Taking a refreshingly different approach from other writers, Michael Rosove skillfully weaves together the explorers' own insightful and inspiring comments with a narrative that puts readers in the midst of events. From Captain James Cook's expedition in 1772 to Shackleton's final expedition in 1922, he describes these small parties of intrepid men. Heroes to many, the pioneers discovered the continent, explored its perilous coasts, penetrated its interior, and reached the South Pole, making the technically sophisticated expeditions of later years possible. With their words, Rosove helps readers appreciate their struggles against almost inconceivable hardships, the challenges to their leadership, their awe at the magnificent natural wonders they beheld, and the profound spiritual effects of their polar experiences.
The book is based on some two hundred primary and secondary sources and provides more than thirty photographs and maps that draw readers even further into the story. For those who need a convenient reference, this book's organization and comprehensive index make it easy to find information about a particular voyage or expedition.