Published to coincide with the centenary of the first expeditions to reach the South Pole, An Empire of Ice presents a fascinating new take on Antarctic exploration. Retold with added information, it's the first book to place the famed voyages of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, his British rivals Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, and others in a larger scientific, social, and geopolitical context.
Efficient, well prepared, and focused solely on the goal of getting to his destination and back, Amundsen has earned his place in history as the first to reach the South Pole. Scott, meanwhile, has been reduced in the public mind to a dashing incompetent who stands for little more than relentless perseverance in the face of inevitable defeat. An Empire of Ice offers a new perspective on the Antarctic expeditions of the early twentieth century by looking at the British efforts for what they actually were: massive scientific enterprises in which reaching the South Pole was but a spectacular sideshow. By focusing on the larger purpose, Edward Larson deepens our appreciation of the explorers' achievements, shares little-known stories, and shows what the Heroic Age of Antarctic discovery was really about.
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by Edward J. Larson
by Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey
by Joseph J. Ellis
by J. Patrick Lewis
by Edward J. Renehan, Jr.
by Erik Larson
"We are all familiar with Amundsen's besting of Robert Falcon Scott in the race to the South Pole and then Scott's recording of his dying days while hunkered down in a tent during a blizzard. But did you know that Scott's expedition was carrying 35 pounds of fossils and rock samples that the team refused to abandon? John Nelson's forceful voice emphasizes every word, managing to keep the listener engaged as Edward Larson views polar exploration through a lens of scientific purpose; expeditions employed scientists to expand knowledge (for the Empire!) in paleontology, geology, zoology, and magnetism. But Nelson is less successful with accents. He employs the same odd-sounding British accent for all the quotations to distinguish them from the narrative. Surely every explorer, scientist, and commentator didn't sound the same. A.B. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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