An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science: Larson, Edward J.
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An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science

Author(s): Larson, Edward J.

Copyright: 2011, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xiv, 326, map frontis, 32 bw photos, 6 illus, 16 maps, blue cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

Published to coincide with the centenary of the first expeditions to reach the South Pole, Larson presents the first book to place the famed expeditions of British explorers Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, their Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen, 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 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 at first but a spectacular sideshow. By focusing on their scientific purposes and accomplishments, 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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