Author(s): Ross D. E. MacPhee
In connection with the world-famous American Museum of Natural History: the gripping true story of the race to the South Pole A beautifully told, impeccably researched, and stunningly illustrated account of the arduous quest for social advancement, scientific knowledge, recognition, and pride.A century ago, England's Robert Falcon Scott and Norway's Roald Amundsen-- two explorers with vastly different visions--set out separately for the South Pole. The race between these ideal antagonists resulted in grand heroism, bitter tragedy, and the birth and perpetuation of myths that have lingered for generations. Race to the End takes readers along on each team's trek to Antarctica, and farther to the South Pole--a journey through Earth's harshest, most unforgiving terrain. MacPhee's piercing insight and keen storytelling illuminates not only the natural, biological, and scientific detail, but also the human and emotional motivation. He helps answer the philosophical question asked of every person who undertakes a dangerous and epic exploration: why did he do it? These highly illustrated pages feature diary entries; letters from members of the exploration; drawings, paintings, and photographs of the landscape, living quarters, equipment, and methods of transport; as well as never-before-published images of the last items discovered with Scott and his four mates who perished upon their return from the pole mere miles from the warmth and safety of their base camp.
To accompany his American Museum of Natural History (AMNH exhibit, Race to the end of the Earth, open May 29 through January 2, 2011, MacPhee (curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, AMNH; Primates and Their Relatives in Phylogenetic Perspective) presents Robert Falcon Scott (for the UK) and Norwegian Roald Amundsen's act to claim first arrival at the South Pole for his nation. Each explorer's story has been told often before, dissected, and minutely examined owing to the tragedy that befell Scott and his crew on their return trip from the Pole, which Amundsen had reached first. What makes this volume special are the scores of pictures that bring both Scott's and Amundsen's stories to life, including heretofore unseen images of Scott's last camp, an important contribution to polar literature, as well as excellent reproduction of diaries, the British Antarctic Expedition's newspaper, the "South Polar Times", and images of all the important individuals whose fate is inextricably tied to this quest. "Race" also includes fabulous panoramas taken from a February 22, 1913, edition of The Sphere, which commemorated Scott's expedition. Gatefolds showing the two expedition routes to the pole are included. VERDICT: Such a cool book; the juxtaposition of these two polar expeditions in photographic detail makes "Race" a welcome addition to Antarctic literature and a must for adventure, polar, and exploration collections. Highly recommended. -- "Library Journal"