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    Melding superb research and the extraordinary expedition
    photography of Frank Hurley, The Endurance by Caroline Alexander
    is a stunning work of history, adventure, and art which
    chronicles "one of the greatest epics of survival in the annals
    of exploration." Setting sail as World War I broke out in Europe,
    the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, led by renowned polar
    explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, hoped to become the first to
    cross the Antarctic continent. But their ship, Endurance, was
    trapped in the drifting pack ice, eventually to splinter, leaving
    the expedition stranded on floes--a situation that seemed "not
    merely desperate but impossible."

    Most skillfully Alexander constructs the expedition's character
    through its personalities--the cast of veteran explorers,
    scientists, and crew--with aid from many previously unavailable
    journals and documents. We learn, for instance, that carpenter
    and shipwright Henry McNish, or "Chippy," was "neither
    sweet-tempered nor tolerant," and that Mrs. Chippy, his cat, was
    "full of character." Such firsthand descriptions, paired with 170
    of Frank Hurley's intimate photographs, which are comprehensively
    assembled here for the first time, penetrate the hulls of the
    Endurance and these tough men. The account successfully reveals
    the seldom-seen domestic world of expedition life--the singsongs,
    feasts, lectures, camaraderie--so that when the hardships set in,
    we know these people beyond the stereotypical guise of mere
    explorers and long for their safety.

    Alexander reveals Shackleton as an inspiring optimist, "a leader
    who put his men first." Throughout the grueling ordeal,
    Shackleton and his men show what endurance and greatness are all
    about. The Endurance is a most intimate portrait of an expedition
    and of survival. Readers will possess a newfound respect for
    these daring souls, know better their unthinkable toil and
    half-forgotten realm of glory. --Byron Ricks


    The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition