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Short Synopsis
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward J. Larson presents a fascinating new take on the Antarctic expeditions of the early twentieth century, placing them within a larger scientific, social, and geopolitical context.

Full Synopsis
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.

"Larson succeeds in [his] approach to the popular subject of polar exploration by wrapping the science in plenty of dangerous drama to keep readers engaged." ---Booklist

"[Larson] provides an undeniably exciting account without overpowering the reader with too much detail. Fans of these explorers, science heads, and armchair travelers will find this a worthwhile and thrilling read." ---Library Journal

"A satisfying tale of adventure and exploration." ---Kirkus

"A riveting account of science, courage, and endurance." ---Daniel Kevles, Yale Univerisity

"[Larson] is a brilliant researcher. An Empire of Ice reflects exhaustive digging and reaches well beyond the standard source materials." ---The New York Times

An Empire of Ice

Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science

Author Edward J. Larson

Narrated by John Allen Nelson

Publication date Jun 22, 2011

Running time 11 hrs

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