From Library Journal
"Tom Crean was the difference between life and death" for two members of Robert F. Scott's 1910-13 Terra Nova expedition. With this statement, British journalist Smith demands that history revisit the heroic age of polar exploration, focusing on one of the lesser-known heroes. Tom Crean went to Antarctica with Scott's Discovery (1901-04) and Terra Nova (1910-13) expeditions, as well as with Ernest Shackleton's Endurance (1914-16) expedition. Some of his courageous accomplishments include ice-floe hopping and climbing the Barrier to affect a rescue, traveling 35 miles in 18 hours with minimal rations to get help for others, and the infamous crossing of the southern ocean to South Georgia Island with Shackleton. Crean was awarded many medals, including the Albert Medal, the highest recognition for gallantry. But Smith argues that because of politics and the class prejudices of the day (Crean was a poor Irishman), he did not receive the recognition he was due. Crean was not a diarist, so Smith relied on interviews, letters, the diaries of Crean's contemporaries, and previously published works for this captivating account of one man's often overlooked contributions. Recommended for polar and exploration collections and larger public libraries. Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville, IN
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Tom Crean survived three expeditions to the Antarctic. The first was with Robert Scott aboard the Discovery
(1901-1904), the second with Scott aboard the Terra Nova
(1910-1913), and the third with Ernest Shackleton aboard the Endurance
(1914-1916). Crean's exploits are almost unbelievable, for along with Shackleton and Frank Worsley, he made the first crossing of South Georgia to save their comrades stranded on Elephant Island. In researching this engaging work, which is deliciously full of other such daring feats by this unassuming man, Smith interviewed Crean's two daughters and two grandsons. Additional sources include a number of archives in England, Ireland, and New Zealand; newspapers and periodicals, unpublished diaries, journals, and records; ships' logs; letters, and Crean's service documents. The result is an absorbing, meticulously researched biography of a genuine hero. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved