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From studying the outcome of past expeditions, he believed that those that burdened themselves with equipment to meet every contingency had fared much worse than those that had sacrificed total preparedness for speed.
Unlike the land, where courage and the simple will to endure can often see a man through, the struggle against the sea is an act of physical combat, and there is no escape. It is a battle against a tireless enemy in which man never actually wins; the most that he can hope for is not to be defeated.
For scientific leadership give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage Paperback – Illustrated, April 28, 2015
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"Riveting."―The New York Times
"Without a doubt this painstakingly written authentic adventure story will rank as one of the classic tales of the heroic age of exploration."―Christian Science Monitor
"Grit in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity."―Wall Street Journal
"[An] incomparable telling of Shackleton's travails."―Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review
About the Author
- Publisher : Basic Books (April 28, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 357 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0465062881
- ISBN-13 : 978-0465062881
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.45 x 1.3 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be able to endure even one, the best, day of the unimaginable hardships that the men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Exposition (1914-17)—under the leadership of Sir Ernest Shackleton—struggled with for more than 400 days. They endured and survived some of the most incredible, unbelievable, conditions ever experienced; and Alfred Lansing captures the urgency, the deprivation, and the desperation, with spellbinding storytelling.
Recommendation: Best adventure story, ever. Should be read by all, especially those of high school age.
“In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night. It is a return to the Ice Age—no warmth, no life, no movement.” (p. 46).
Basic Books. Kindle Edition, 268 pages.
That these men were able to survive in the harsh, barren conditions of Antarctica, where temperatures frequently fell below zero is amazing. It’s nearly unimaginable that these men could survive for almost two years, their lives marked by a seemingly endless stretch of misery, suffering, and boredom, not to mention the threat of starvation. At every turn, their situation seems to go from bad to worse. If this were a work of fiction, one would be inclined to claim the story was simply too far-fetched. But Endurance isn't just a tale of misery, it is a vivid description of their journey, the dangers they faced, and the obstacles they overcame. Through all of this, Shackleton has never lost a man.
Alfred Lansing's book, written in 1958 from interviews and journals of the survivors, is now back in print. It’s a riveting tale of adventure, survival and hope. It is also a rare historical, non-fiction book that is as exciting as any novel. I’ve read a number of stories of survival and would rate this as the best of all I have read. This is one of the great adventure stories of our time. Don’t miss it.
Top reviews from other countries
I have to confess I was emotional to the point of basically crying at the end, and that has rarely if ever happened from reading a book even though it is one of my favourite past times.
Do not pass up the opportunity to read about one of THE great stories of modern times.
It's an amazing story of human endurance and spirit against seemingly overwhelming odds - well written and very detailed by an author who as well as using the diaries of the participants, actually interviewed some of the surviving ones some years after the event. As a result, you can see its authenticity.
I've also recently watched (available on C4 'All 4' or whatever it calls itself) the two part dramatisation of this story and I recommend it.