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Customer Review

Roald Amundsen's "The South Pole" is a detailed, even exhaustive account of his successful 1910-1912 expedition to the South Pole. Amundsen's expedition was the first to reach the South Pole, after failures by other expeditions.

Amundsen was relentlessly methodical and practical in planning and executing the expedition. He identified a practical method of travel for the long haul to the South Pole from the Antarctic coast: dog sleds and skiis. He and his crew experimented and tested all their equipment and supplies in the Antarctic while patiently waiting for the right weather to travel. In striking contrast to his British competitor, Robert Falcon Scott, Amundsen correctly estimated the amount of food that would be consumed by physically active men operating for weeks in sub-zero temperatures. Amundsen's preparation is so complete that the actual expedition sometimes has all the drama of a weekend fishing trip. Amundsen was apparently a modest man, and it falls to Roland Huntford in an introduction to draw the obvious comparison with the catastrophic failure of the Scott expedition.

Amundsen's account provides all the detail necessary for anyone who might wish to duplicate his feat. Unfortunately, his writing style is very dry and even dedicated students of polar exploration may find finishing this book a long haul.

This book is highly recommended to students of the history of polar travel.
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