Byrd's Great Adventure

by Francis Trevelyan Miller | History | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 1447423860 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 6/17/2018
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 17, 2018
I got this somewhat-battered 1930 hardcover at a local Goodwill thrift shop. Subtitled "1000 Years of Polar Exploration" and "The Fight to Conquer the Ends of the Earth", it looks like an overview of loads of expeditions, though the cover-art and title suggest the focus is on Byrd. (I'd read about Byrd's expedition recently, in the intriguing The Stowaway, about a Polish-American teen who successfully stowed away on the expedition - after a number of failed tries. He gets no mention here, alas, though there is a photo of the teenaged Boy Scout who was selected by Byrd to represent American youth.)

The book does touch on nearly all of the notable expeditions to either pole; the "1,000 years" bit applies only to the North Pole, as awareness of a southern continent didn't really come about until the 1700s, but in any case there were a LOT of expeditions of varying sizes - and degrees of success. The prose tends to be a bit melodramatic, but if anything deserves that kind of phrasing it'd be the more poignant Arctic and Antarctic expeditions... For example, near the end of the book, in the description of the tragic fate of the airship "Italia", the author speaks of Amundsen's attempt to find survivors by air; his plane crashed in the Arctic and no remains were ever found. The book, dated only a couple of years after those events, notes: "Thus, for two years the shroud of mystery has lain over him. Will the gallant viking ever be found? First to sail through the Northwest Passage, first to fly in an airship over the top of the world, first to reach the south pole - shall the great soul of Amundsen haunt forever the arctic silence which he loved?"

An interesting - if sometimes, and understandably, dated - overview of polar exploration, and a look at attitudes in the US in the late 1920s.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Park and Ride (at Exit 2) bookshelf in Salem, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Released 4 mos ago (6/21/2018 UTC) at Park and Ride (at Exit 2) bookshelf in Salem, New Hampshire USA


I left this book on the book-swap shelf inside the terminal at the park-and-ride; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

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