Just now I'm reading The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram," 1910-1912
by Captain Roald E. G. Amundsen (J. Murray; London, England; 1913). It's a wonderful read! Amundsen, as you may know, was hammered mercilessly by the British establishment for having dared best them in the "race" for the South Pole; but thankfully in recent years the fatal incompetence of Captain Robert F. Scott, which caused the deaths of himself and his comrades, has been made public by experts in the field of polar exploration.
Amundsen is generous in his praise of Scott and all other polar explorers, a kindness not returned by the British (even to this day). The matter of Scott's ego and Britain's chauvanism aside (as those topics are not discussed in Amundsen's book), one can't help but marvel at these various polar endeavors: the sixth continent was not set foot upon until 1895, so the early part of the 20th Century saw efforts great and small to field expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. Amundsen is that era's exemplar and greatest witness; and his book is accurate and fair, as well as exciting.Deb
, it sounds like we're more or less on the same page with our present books! I've always loved the space program, in spite of its fall from grace with the Congress of the United States during the 1970s and '80s. The introduction to Amundsen's book (it's a recent introduction) compares the polar exploration which took part in the early 1900s with the space program of that century's latter half, insofar as both space and the poles were basically unknown entities and uninfected by the human species.