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Antarctica 2041: My Quest to Save the Earth's Last Wilderness Hardcover – October 27, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767931750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767931755
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British explorer and conservationist Swan accounts for the inspiration, execution and purpose of his expeditions to visit the South and North Poles. In 1967, at the age of 11, Swan saw the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic, and became obsessed with the doomed expedition of its iconic hero, Captain Robert F. Scott. Naming his 1985 expedition "In the Footsteps of Scott," Swan successfully retraced the captain's 900 mile trek to the South Pole. In a subsequent hike to the North Pole (another 500 mile trip), Swan became the first person to have walked to both poles. He recounts big adventures, and setbacks almost as big (his first ship was crushed by polar ice, leaving him with a $1.2 million debt), on his journey to becoming a committed conservationist, dedicated to curbing climate change and preventing the exploitation of the Arctic and Antarctic (2041 is the year that the international treaty protecting Antarctica comes up for review). Though he describes his Antarctic expedition as a "ridiculous undertaking-a twenty-something nobody raising five million dollars to embark on a useless quest," Swan's valuable lessons and thrilling narrative make it clear his efforts were far from fruitless.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

ROBERT SWAN is the first person to have walked to both the North and South Poles. An active lecturer, he regularly leads Antarctic expeditions. He divides time between London, New York, and Antarctica.
GIL REAVILL has coauthored many books including Tiki by Tiki Barber and Steve and Me by Terri Irwin.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Not particularly recommended.
David Zampino
The stories are engaging, the writing is entertaining, and the experiences Swan recounts are amazing.
ARH
Reading this book is much more like being tickled by feathers.
Zoeeagleeye

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Meredith VINE VOICE on January 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I can appreciate Robert Swan's enthusiasm for the environment, I really can. And I agree with his overall principles. But couldn't he have at least written (or co-written) an interesting account? By the time you get past the recounting of his walks to the South and North Poles, you almost want to say "is that all there is?"

It's nice that Swan's inspiration for his adventures comes from the 1948 movie "Scott of the Antarctic", but by the 28th time that he refers to it you have to wonder how often he mentioned it to his fellow adventurers during the long nights in a frozen tent.

The details just aren't there. Two polar treks and the efforts in putting them together consume only about a hundred pages or so. I've gleened more insight into endurance and adventures at cocktail parties. Had he been the sole author, I might just chalk it up to poor writing ability. But he had the assistance of Gil Reavill, a writer of experience. Were there collaboration problems?

Nonetheless, Swan's message about the fragility of our polar regions and their importance to our daily life is not one that should be discounted. Unfortunately, there are a lot of far more interesting works that convey the same message.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Lucard VINE VOICE on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Just a quick note - The uncorrected proof I am reviewing was very flimsy and pages were falling out left and right through my reading of this book. As this is an Advance Reading Copy and not the for sale copy, this will not affect my review, but just a head's up to readers that the binding of their copy might be just as weak.

I really enjoyed reading this book, as I've always had a sense of wonder when it came to Antartica. Although I was happy to read about Robert Swan's walks across both the Artic and Antartic, I was a bit disappointed that so little of the book was about Antartica itself and the problems that currently plague this (mostly) untouched tundra. Instead the book really focuses on both the explorers that came before Swan which made such an impression on his psyche that he decided to follow in their footsteps and Swan's own trips to the coldest places on Earth. Only about a third of the book actually features Swan's "Quest to Save the Earth's Last Wilderness." Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Swan's recollections of his life and how he could have had a typical British Upper Middle Class life without any real cares, goals or dreams and traded that in for a life of adventure and trying to get people to be passionate about a part of the planet they will most likely never see. However, I wanted a lot more substance on what is going on with Antartica. Instead, these aspects were only barely touched on and most of that space was devoted to stories about raising awareness through boat races or condom useage in Africa. Again, these are well told and fun to read about, but nothing within the title of the book is ever more than glanced over, which is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wilhelmina Zeitgeist VINE VOICE on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have a facination with Antartica and a secret love for it. Following Robert Swan's journey and his heart felt activism to save this untamed, mostly untouched spot on the earth moved me to think about how much more I can do to save our Earth. Afterall, where else are we going to go? The tale of someone's love of "Scott of Antartica," a movie which aired once a year on BBC chronicling Captain Robert F. Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole to a full blown environmental activist dedicated to saving the coldest, windiest place on the planet...and the rest of our home, the planet Earth.

Swan makes his case of the need for all of us to join in the race against time. Time when it is too late to do anything to restore our planet to a place to be enjoyed by future generations...or possibly any one of us.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack Turner VINE VOICE on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Part autobiography, part travel diary, Robert Swan attempts to share his passion for the arctic environment with the average reader who most likely will never go there and probably has little reason to care; in large part, he succeeds in conveying that passion to his audience. However, the book itself seems to meander, and Swan can't seem to decide whether or not the work is about his quest to save Antarctica or an autobiography of his multiple expeditions to the South Pole. The first of his expeditions, In the Footsteps of Scott, occupies the first half of the book, whereas the expeditions that involve his work to clean up Bellingshausen Station receives only the barest mention. One would have expected the latter to occupy a significantly greater place in the overall work. This is not to suggest that Swan's work is not readable: far from that, and even the most casual reader will enjoy the work. The narrative is fast-paced, and the chapters do a sufficiently fine job of keeping the reader in suspense from one section to the next. Nevertheless, the book that was advertised on the cover is not the book that is in the pages, a minor quibble in itself. However, it is unlikely that without the ecological title and narrative focus on adventure that the book would be able to sufficiently distinguish itself from the myriad of other co-written autobiographies available on the market today.
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