Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer

Overview

Ernest Shackleton is one of history’s great explorers, an extraordinary character who pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago and became a dominant figure in Antarctic discovery. A charismatic personality, his incredible adventures on four expeditions to the Antarctic have captivated generations. He joined the Empire’s last great endeavor of exploration: to conquer the South Pole with Scott on the Discovery expedition. A clash with Scott led to Shackleton being ordered home and started a bitter ...

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Overview

Ernest Shackleton is one of history’s great explorers, an extraordinary character who pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago and became a dominant figure in Antarctic discovery. A charismatic personality, his incredible adventures on four expeditions to the Antarctic have captivated generations. He joined the Empire’s last great endeavor of exploration: to conquer the South Pole with Scott on the Discovery expedition. A clash with Scott led to Shackleton being ordered home and started a bitter feud between the two. Shackleton’s riposte was the Nimrod expedition, which uncovered the route to the Pole and honed the leadership skills that later encouraged men to overcome unimaginable hardship on the Endurance expedition of 1914. But Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life, marked by romantic affairs, unfulfilled ambitions, and failed business ventures, contrasted with celebrity status as the leading explorer. Persistent money problems left his men unpaid and his family with debts.

Drawing on extensive research of original diaries, letters, and many other publications, Michael Smith brings a fresh perspective to the heroic age of Polar exploration, which was dominated by Shackleton’s complex, compelling, and enduringly fascinating story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] highly readable account.... Shackleton is admired for his leadership skills while his repeated off-ice failures are overlooked or unknown. Smith offers a fascinating assessment of his subject, one that will be enjoyed by readers of biographies, polar literature, and adventure stories.—(i)Library Journal(/i)

"[A] fascinating exploration of the man behind the myth.... Smith ranks Shackleton among the greatest explorers, yet he was held back by a lack of practicality, exemplified by his underestimation of the need for prowess in handling dogs and skis for ease of travel on ice. The author presents a lively account of the race to the South Pole, ultimately won by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen in 1911, and the bitter rivalry between Shackleton and his other British contender, Robert Scott.... An illuminating perspective of the man, his mission and the era in which he lived." —(i)Kirkus Reviews(/i)

Library Journal
★ 10/15/2014
One of the greatest Antarctic survival stories involves Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) and his ship, Endurance, as it sailed the South Atlantic Ocean. For many, this series of facts encompasses one's total knowledge of the Irish explorer. Smith (An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean—Antarctic Survivor) seeks to change this vague understanding with the first comprehensive biography of Shackleton in 30 years. Shackleton joined various shipping companies beginning at age 16, gaining experience as he was promoted through the ranks. He made his first voyage in 1901, sailing to Antarctica on the British National Antarctic Expedition (Discovery), which set a farthest south record. In 1907, Shackleton led the British Antarctic Expedition (Nimrod), which set a new such record. That team is credited with discovering the Beardmore Glacier, reaching the summit of Mt. Erebus, and locating the South Magnetic Pole. The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Endurance) launched in 1914, marking Shackleton's third voyage to Antarctica. Smith uses existing journals, correspondence, and family records that separate the man from the myth while creating a highly readable account. VERDICT Shackleton is admired for his leadership skills while his repeated off-ice failures are overlooked or unknown. Smith offers a fascinating assessment of his subject, one that will be enjoyed by readers of biographies, polar literature, and adventure stories.—Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Lib., IN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780745725
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications
  • Publication date: 11/11/2014
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 528,828

Meet the Author

Michael Smith is an author and journalist who specializes in the history of Polar exploration. He has written books on Polar history for adult audiences and children, lectured extensively and contributed to a wide range of television and radio programs, newspapers, magazines and websites. He lives in Dublin.

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