Beyond the Barrier: The Story of Byrd's First Expedition to Antarctica

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $3.00   
  • Used (20) from $1.99   


When this book originally appeared in 1990, it was hailed as an important new work because of the author's access to Adm. Richard E. Byrd's just-released private papers. Previous books on the legendary polar explorer had to rely on sources subject to the admiral's vigilant censorship or the control of his heirs and friends. With this study Eugene Rodgers provides a scrupulously honest and objective account of Byrd's 1929 expedition to Antarctica.

Without discrediting the expedition's success or Byrd's leadership, Rodgers shows that the admiral was not the saintly hero he and the press depicted. Nor was the expedition without its problems. Interviews with surviving members of the expedition together with a wealth of other new material indicate that Byrd, contrary to his claims, was not a good navigator--his pilots usually had to find their way by dead reckoning--and that he was not on the actual flight that discovered Marie Byrd Land. The book further reveals a crisis over drunkenness among the men (including Byrd), the admiral's fear of mutiny, and his rewriting of news stories from the pole to embellish his own image.

Without discrediting the expedition's success or Admiral Richard Byrd's leadership, this book makes clear for the first time that the admiral was not the saintly hero he and the press depicted. A provocative reassessment of an American hero, but a scrupulously objective book that makes a major contribution to history. Photographs.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The ``plaster saint'' image of American polar explorer Richard E. Byrd, one of the great icons of the hero-worshipping 1920s, has been chipped away at in such books as Finn Ronne's Antarctica, My Destiny ( LJ 12/15/79) and David Roberts's Great Exploration Hoaxes (LJ 11/1/82). Now it has been shattered by free-lance author and Antarctica veteran Rodgers. Byrd was a man who ``measured against other leaders . . . comes out well,'' but who failed to live up to the image of perfection that he himself created. Byrd's demytholization shouldn't distract readers from the well-researched account of his 1928-31 Antarctic expedition, a notable achievement recounted in serviceable if uninspired prose. For readers of detailed accounts of polar exploration.-- J.F. Husband, Framingham State Coll. Lib., Mass.
School Library Journal
For those who thrill to the courage and foolhardiness of exploits on the ice caps, there is a new adventure waiting. Rodgers had access to recently opened private papers and utilizes these sources to bring immediacy and insight to his subject. Admiral Byrd is revealed as a much more complex character than the saint who wooed the nation for support for his explorations. Not all the Byrd inconsistencies are resolved, but the story is nevertheless fascinating. Collections that admit only one arctic adventure should have Roland Huntford's Scott and Amundsen (Atheneum, 1984; o.p.), but this is a good addition. --Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557507136
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2012
  • Series: Bluejacket Books Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,144,593
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)