Synopses & Reviews
"Turney, an Australian paleoclimatologist (Ice, Mud and Blood), describes the early 20th-century exploratory expeditions to Antarctica. Using a variety of sources including previously unpublished documents, Turney reproduces the drama of the race to reach the South Pole as well as the subsequent efforts of the original pathfinders and new expeditions to unlock the secrets of the continent. The two best-known explorers, Roald Amundsen, the first to reach the pole, and Robert Scott the leader of the ill-fated British expedition, are covered in detail, with evidence-based speculation on why and how Scott's expedition ended tragically. In addition, Turney describes in depth the 1911 1912 German expedition of Wilhem Filchner and the 1911 1913 Australian expedition of Douglas Mawson. Filchner's expedition is rife with misadventure, feuds, dangers, and death. Nonetheless the expedition made a substantial contribution to scientific knowledge of the Antarctic Convergence and the Atlantic Ocean's circulation system. Mawson's expedition is another harrowing tale, visited by death, omnipresent in the ruthlessly frigid environment, and by madness as well. Yet Mawson's team managed to map much of Antarctica's geology, and to describe its otherworldly flora and fauna. Turney successfully conveys the heroism and flaws of the early explorers as they challenged the preternatural dangers of Antarctica. Illus., maps." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for 1912
"Turney successfully conveys the heroism and flaws of the early explorers as they challenged the preternatural dangers of Antarctica."Publishers Weekly
"As the last continent to be discovered and explored, the history of Antarctica is relatively short; the first recorded landfall on the continent wasn't until 1821. [And] while each expedition could easily merit its own book, Turney adroitly manages to give a full portrait of each explorer and crew with giving any short shrift."Kirkus
The South Pole discovered” trumpeted the front page of The Daily Chronicle
on March 8, 1912, marking Roald Amundsens triumph over the tragic Robert Scott. Yet behind all the headlines there was a much bigger story. Antarctica was awash with expeditions. In 1912, five separate teams representing the old and new world were diligently embarking on scientific exploration beyond the edge of the known planet. Their discoveries not only enthralled the world, but changed our understanding of the planet forever. Tales of endurance, self-sacrifice, and technological innovation laid the foundations for modern scientific exploration, and inspired future generations.
To celebrate the centenary of this groundbreaking work, 1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica revisits the exploits of these different expeditions. Looking beyond the personalities and drawing on his own polar experience, Chris Turney shows how their discoveries marked the dawn of a new age in our understanding of the natural world. He makes use of original and exclusive unpublished archival material and weaves in the latest scientific findings to show how we might reawaken the publics passion for discovery and exploration