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5 Hawthorne Arctic and Antarctic- General

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition


The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition Cover

ISBN13: 9780375404030
ISBN10: 0375404031
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In August 1914, days before the outbreak of the First World War, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty-seven set sail for the South Atlantic in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent. Weaving a treacherous path through the freezing Weddell Sea, they had come within eighty-five miles of their destination when their ship, Endurance, was trapped fast in the ice pack. Soon the ship was crushed like matchwood, leaving the crew stranded on the floes. Their ordeal would last for twenty months, and they would make two near-fatal attempts to escape by open boat before their final rescue.

Drawing upon previously unavailable sources, Caroline Alexander gives us a riveting account of Shackleton's expedition — one of history's greatest epics of survival. And she presents the astonishing work of Frank Hurley, the Australian photographer whose visual record of the adventure has never before been published comprehensively. Together, text and image re-create the terrible beauty of Antarctica, the awful destruction of the ship, and the crew's heroic daily struggle to stay alive, a miracle achieved largely through Shackleton's inspiring leadership.

The survival of Hurley's remarkable images is scarcely less miraculous: The original glass plate negatives, from which most of the book's illustrations are superbly reproduced, were stored in hermetically sealed cannisters that survived months on the ice floes, a week in an open boat on the polar seas, and several more months buried in the snows of a rocky outcrop called Elephant Island. Finally Hurley was forced to abandon his professional equipment; he captured some of the most unforgettable images of the struggle with a pocket camera and three rolls of Kodak film.

Published in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History's landmark exhibition on Shackleton's journey, The Endurance thrillingly recounts one of the last great adventures in the Heroic Age of exploration — perhaps the greatest of them all.


"On the last day of April 1915, with his ship beset in pack ice and with growing doubts about his crew's survival, the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton asked Frank Worsley to dance. 'He is one of the greatest optimists living,' one crew member wrote of Shackleton as he watched him dancing a 'stately waltz' on the pack ice. In Caroline Alexander's remarkable contribution to the growing body of Shackleton lore, she identifies Shackleton's indomitable optimism as his key leadership trait. At times Shackleton's optimism bordered on insanity, as when he and five men attempted to sail a 22-foot open boat 850 miles through tempestuous seas to South Georgia island. In Shackleton's own time his heroism was overshadowed by World War I, but today, thanks to scholars like Alexander, Shackleton's achievements are getting their due acclaim. As if the tale itself were not enough to hold a reader's interest, Alexander's book contains 140 stunning black and white photographs taken by the ship's photographer Frank Hurley. These polar images — some domestic, many otherworldly — are a fitting tribute to the men and their adventure." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

About the Author

Caroline Alexander has written for the New Yorker, Granta, Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, Outside, and National Geographic, and is the author of four previous books. She is the curator of "Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Expedition," an exhibition that will open at the American Museum of Natural History in March 1999. She lives on a farm in New Hampshire.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

foxdale, March 30, 2014 (view all comments by foxdale)
This book is a favorite of mine. The story of Shackleton's uncompleted expedition is one of the most dramatic and riveting survival tales ever told. The copious photographs by Frank Hurley are truly incomparable, and the fact that the negatives endured such a journey along with the men is a testament to the tenacity and determination of all involved. Caroline Alexander's text is wonderfully enhanced by these photos in this remarkable account of the nearly two years spent struggling to survive. One hundred years ago, this crew was largely forgotten in the advent of WWI. With no way to communicate, they had to get themselves out of the ice and find a way to go for help across 800 miles of brutally savage ocean in a small lifeboat. Navigating with pencil, paper maps (charts), a clock, and the GPS of the time (sextant), Shackleton managed to get that help for the men he left behind and they ALL came home. The effort and time Hurley spent to get the dramatic and haunting images that tell this story are now things of the past; we think nothing today of snapping an image on a smart phone and instantly uploading it, along with whatever comment we desire. This book will ensure that the next generation does not forget how their heroes became heroes.
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Phrog Professor, January 21, 2012 (view all comments by Phrog Professor)
She was called Endurance, a new ship that got caught in the ice and crushed. Shackleton was her captain and a real leader who knew how to keep his men focused and working together. This is an adventure from the very first page. Photographs taken by the ship's photographer are found throughout the book and enhance the story; they bring you into the adventure with those who lived it. Shackleton was a hero and the author's description of his journey to rescue his crew is intense. You feel you are with Shackleton all the way struggling with the ice and the elements. A powerful narrative. In this year of renewed interest in antarctica the story of Shackleton's expedition is riveting.
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Product Details

Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
Alexander, Caroline
Hurley, Frank
New York :
Discovery and exploration
Maritime History
Polar Regions
Endurance (ship)
Shackleton, Ernest Henry
Imperial trans-antarctic expedition, 1914-191
Explorers -- Antarctica.
Expeditions & Discoveries
Special Interest - Adventure
Antarctica Discovery and exploration.
World History-General
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references.
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.28x8.52x.82 in. 2.07 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Arctic and Antarctic » General
History and Social Science » Exploration » Antarctic
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Transportation » Nautical » General
Transportation » Nautical » Nautical Lore
Travel » Travel Writing » Antarctica General
Travel » Travel Writing » Arctic and Antarctic
Travel » Travel Writing » Exploration

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition Used Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Knopf - English 9780375404030 Reviews:
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