In the age of adventure, when dirigibles coasted through the air and vast swaths of the Earth remained untouched and unseen by man, one pack of relentless explorers competed in the race of a lifetime: to be the first aviator to fly over the North Pole. What inspired their dangerous fascination? For some, it was the romantic theory about a “lost world,” a hidden continent in the Arctic Ocean. Others were seduced by new aviation technology, which they strove to push to its ultimate limit. The story of their quest is breathtaking and inspiring; the heroes are still a matter of debate. It was the 1920s. The main players in this high stakes game were Richard Byrd, a dashing Navy officer and early aviation pioneer; and Roald Amundsen, a Viking in the sky, bitter rival of Byrd’s and a hardened veteran of polar expeditions. Each man was determined to be the first aviator to fly over the North Pole, despite brutal weather conditions, financial disasters, world wars, and their own personal demons. Byrd and Amundsen’s epic struggle for air primacy ended in a Homeric episode, in which one man had to fly to the rescue of his downed nemesis, and left behind an enduring mystery: who was the first man to fly over the North Pole? Race to the Top of the World: Richard Byrd and the First Flight to the North Pole is a fast-paced, larger-than-life adventure story from Sheldon Bart, the only historian with unprecedented access to Richard Byrd’s personal archives. With powerful, never-before-seen evidence of the race to pioneer one of Earth’s last true frontiers, Race to the Top of the World is a story of a day when men were heroes and the wild was untamed.
With our access to Google Maps, Global Positioning Systems, and Atlases that cover all regions and terrains and tell us precisely how to get from one place to another, we tend to forget there was ever a time when the world was unknown and uncharted--a mystery waiting to be solved. In On the Edge, Roger McCoy tells the captivating--and often harrowing--story of the 400 year effort to map North America's Coasts. Much of the book is based on the narratives of mariners who sought a passage through the continent to Asia and produced maps as a byproduct of their journeys. These courageous explorers had to rely on the most rudimentary mapping tools and to contend with unimaginably harsh conditions: ship-crushing ice floes; the threat of frostbite, scurvy, and starvation; gold fever and mutiny; ice that could lock them in for months on end; and, inevitably, the failure to find the elusive Northwest passage. Telling the story from the explorers' perspective, McCoy allows readers to see how maps of their voyages were made and why they were so full of errors, as well as how they gradually acquired greater accuracy, especially after the longitude problem was solved. On the Edge tracks the dramatic voyages of John Cabot, John Davis, Captain Cook, Henry Hudson, Martin Frobisher, John Franklin (who nearly starved to death and become known in England as "the man who ate his boots"), and others, concluding with Robert Peary, Otto Sverdrup, and Vihjalmur Steffanson in the early twentieth century. Drawing upon diaries, journals, and other primary sources--and including a set of maps charting the progress of exploration over time--On the Edge shows exactly how we came to know the shape of our continent.
Publisher: London : S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington
Category: Arctic regions
Sir George Nares took command of the British Arctic expedition of 1875-6 that hoped to reach the North Pole. Nares' popular two-volume account of the journey was published in 1878. Volume 1 describes the journey north, and covers the discovery of the channel later called Nares Strait, and the remarkable dog-sled expedition of second-in-command, Albert Markham, that set a new record for the farthest distance north achieved. Volume 2 describes the perilous return journey and includes extensive appendices written by H. W. Feilden, giving details of the expedition's scientific discoveries.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Scott Joplin struggled on the margins of society to play a pivotal role in the creation of ragtime music. His brief life and tragic death encompassed a tumultuous time of changes in modern music, culture, and technology. This biography follows Joplin's life from the brothels and bars of St. Louis to the music mills of Tin Pan Alley as he introduced a syncopated, lively style to classical piano.
Conquering Antarctica in the world's toughest endurance race
Author: Ben Fogle
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
New Year's Day, 2009. Somewhere on the bottom of the world, six teams of adventurers and explorers have gathered to race one another, on foot, to the South Pole. It is the first time that anyone has undertaken such a race in almost a hundred years; the first time since the great Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, beat Captain Scott to the same goal in 1911. The stakes are high, as double-Olympic Gold-winning medallist James Cracknell and TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle must contend with hidden crevasses, frostbite and the favourites to win: a team of teak-hard former soldiers from Norway, trained in Arctic warfare. Temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees Celsius lie in store for the teams as they attempt to ski across 800 kilometres of unforgiving, icy wilderness, pulling behind them sledges laden with equipment, tents and food. Race to the Pole is a rip-roaring 'boy's own' adventure packed with excitement, humour and even a few tears. But with just a few months to learn to cross-country ski before the start, and with national pride at stake, can Ben and James re-write history and beat the Norwegians?
In late 1911, the final year of the Edwardian age, a British naval captain and a Norwegian conqueror of the North-West Passage embarked on the most gruelling race ever run. Their aim was not only to lead the first expedition to the South Pole, but also to live to tell the tale. Six months later, Robert Falcon Scott and four of his party were dead, while Roald Amundsens victory had been wired around the world. A century on, the debate still rages. Was Scott unfortunate or incompetent? Was Amundsen a genius or lucky? In a unique television experiment, two teams led by the Norwegian explorer Rune Gjeldnes and the television anthropologist Bruce Parry, star of the BBC2 series Tribe, set out to recreate the famous race. Wearing the same type of clothing as their predecessors, surviving on the same diet, using the same equipment and travelling over the same distance, they seek to answer some of the burning questions. Blizzard is a dramatic chronicle of both the original epic, and its reconstruction. Jasper Reess narrative skilfully intertwines past and present as he brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters. They may be separated from their predecessors by nearly a hundred years, but the modern race teams soon discover that, in polar travel, nothing changes. Among the hardships they face are uncontrollable dogs, inedible food, invisible crevasses, unimaginable cold, all in an unending prairie of snow. Incorporating the gripping diaries of Parry and Gjeldnes, Blizzard paints an astonishing picture of comradeship in the face of physical danger and psychological torment in the most life-threatening habitat on earth.
In the late 18th century explorers and scientists started venturing into the Arctic in a heroic and sometimes deadly effort to understand and unveil the secrets of the unforgiving and mysterious polar region of the high north. Despite that the Arctic was already populated mattered less for the first wave of polar researchers and explorations who nevertheless, brought back valuable knowledge. Today the focus in Arctic science and discourse has changed to one which includes the peoples and societies, and their interaction with the world beyond. The image of a static Arctic - heralded first by explorers - prevailed for a long time, but today the eyes of the World see the Arctic very differently. Few, if any, other places on Earth are currently experiencing the kind of dramatic change witnessed in the Arctic. According to model forecasts, these changes are likely to have profound implications on biophysical and human systems, and will accelerate in the decades to come. “The New Arctic” highlights how, and in what parts, the natural and political system is being transformed. We’re talking about a region where demography, culture, and political and economic systems are increasingly diverse, although many common interests and aspects remain; and with the new Arctic now firmly placed in a global context. Settlements range from small, predominantly indigenous communities, to large industrial cities, and all have a link to the surrounding environment, be it glaciers or vegetation or the ocean itself. “The New Arctic” contributes to our further understanding of the changing Arctic. It offers a range of perspectives, which reflect the deep insight of a variety of scientific scholars across many disciplines bringing a wide range of expertise. The book speaks to a broad audience, including policy-makers, students and scientific colleagues.
The Ecology of Sin and Grace: Overcoming the Divorce between Earth and Heaven
Author: Howard A. Snyder
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
The Bible promises the renewal of all creation--a new heaven and earth--based on the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For centuries this promise has been sidelined or misunderstood because of the church's failure to grasp the full meaning of biblical teachings on creation and new creation. The Bible tells the story of the broken and restored relationship between God, people, and land, not just God and people. This is the full gospel, and it has the power to heal the church's long theological divorce between earth and heaven. Jesus' resurrection in the power of the Holy Spirit is the key, and the church as Christ's body is the primary means by which God is reconciling all things through Jesus Christ. Jesus' ultimate healing of all creation is the great hope and promise of the gospel, and he calls the church to be his healing community now through evangelism, discipleship, and prophetic mission.