Roland Huntford is the world's foremost authority on the polar expeditions and their protagonists. He is the author of the award-winning Two Planks and a Passion: the Dramatic History of Skiing and Scott and Amundsen: Last Place on Earth and he is the biographer of Shackleton and Nansen. He was the Scandinavian correspondent on The Observer for many years.
Race for the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsenby Roland Huntford
For the first time Scott's unedited diaries run alongside those of both Amundsen and Olav Bjaaland, never before translated into English. Cutting through the welter of controversy to the events at the heart of the
In 1910 Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen set sail for Antarctica, each from his own starting point, and the epic race for the South Pole was on.
For the first time Scott's unedited diaries run alongside those of both Amundsen and Olav Bjaaland, never before translated into English. Cutting through the welter of controversy to the events at the heart of the story, Huntford weaves the narrative from the protagonists' accounts of their own fate. What emerges is a whole new understanding of what really happened on the ice and the definitive account of the Race for the South Pole.
- Bloomsbury Academic
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- 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)
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This book is an ABSOLUTE MUST for anyone wanting to ferret out the truth of this epic story. This story needs no commentary. It is plain to see. Read it for yourself in the day by day diaries of three men; Amundsen, Bjaaland, and Scott. Each diary entry is presented side-by-side and day-by-day so you can see what is going on in each man’s head and how their organization and thinking affect every step and every decision. It is a contrast in artistic endeavor vs. bombastic stupidity; a single-minded focus vs. a scatterbrained and ill-conceived approach; a quest for victory vs. a suffering death wish.
An interesting contrast between Scott's diary and Amudsen's, with Olav Bjaaland's less detailed diary entries thrown in for good measure. Huntford Roland though is definitely not a fan of Scott and repeatedly points out in the editorial comments where Scott erred and was not as competent as Amudsen to lead a polar expedition. The editorializing gets a bit old as it's all pro-Amudsen/anti-Scott. This is good if you've read "Scott's Last Expedition", but the anti-Scott bias makes it pretty tough sledding. If nothing else, you realize the debate about why Amudsen succeeded and Scott faild to complete the journey will never be settled, even 100 years after the fact. I've read it as a way to commemorate the 100th anniversay of reaching the South Pole, and it's sometimes very moving to read an entry written 100 years that very day.