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To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration
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HarperCollins 2018
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Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award 

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, a "suspenseful" (WSJ) and "adrenaline-fueled" (Outside) entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world.

As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called “Third Pole,” the pole of altitude, located in unexplored heights of the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth.

In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide at the discovers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic “Furthest South” record, while his expedition mate, Australian Douglas Mawson, had reached the Magnetic South Pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that would stand for a generation, the result of the first major mountaineering expedition to the Himalaya's eastern Karakoram, where the daring aristocrat attempted K2 and established the standard route up the most notorious mountain on the planet. 

Based on extensive archival and on-the-ground research, Edward J. Larson weaves these narratives into one thrilling adventure story. Larson, author of the acclaimed polar history Empire of Ice, draws on his own voyages to the Himalaya, the arctic, and the ice sheets of the Antarctic, where he himself reached the South Pole and lived in Shackleton’s Cape Royds hut as a fellow in the National Science Foundations’ Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. 

These three legendary expeditions, overlapping in time, danger, and stakes, were glorified upon their return, their leaders celebrated as the preeminent heroes of their day. Stripping away the myth, Larson, a master historian, illuminates one of the great, overlooked tales of exploration, revealing the extraordinary human achievement at the heart of these journeys.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/13/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062564511
ASIN:
B07119FF46
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APA Citation (style guide)

Edward J. Larson. (2018). To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Edward J. Larson. 2018. To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Edward J. Larson, To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration. HarperCollins, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Edward J. Larson. To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration. HarperCollins, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        EDWARD J. LARSON is University Professor of History and holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. His numerous awards and honors include the Pulitzer Prize for History.

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fullDescription

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award 

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, a "suspenseful" (WSJ) and "adrenaline-fueled" (Outside) entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world.

As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called “Third Pole,” the pole of altitude, located in unexplored heights of the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth.

In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide at the discovers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic “Furthest South” record, while his expedition mate, Australian Douglas Mawson, had reached the Magnetic South Pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that would stand for a generation, the result of the first major mountaineering expedition to the Himalaya's eastern Karakoram, where the daring aristocrat attempted K2 and established the standard route up the most notorious mountain on the planet. 

Based on extensive archival and on-the-ground research, Edward J. Larson weaves these narratives into one thrilling adventure story. Larson, author of the acclaimed polar history Empire of Ice, draws on his own voyages to the Himalaya, the arctic, and the ice sheets of the Antarctic, where he himself reached the South Pole and lived in Shackleton’s Cape Royds hut as a fellow in the National Science Foundations’ Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. 

These three legendary expeditions, overlapping in time, danger, and stakes, were glorified upon their return, their leaders celebrated as the preeminent heroes of their day. Stripping away the myth, Larson, a master historian, illuminates one of the great, overlooked tales of exploration, revealing the extraordinary human achievement at the heart of these journeys.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
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        "An engaging tale of derring-do and survival virtuosity. ... Larson is a talented storyteller. ... He does full justice to his three protagonists' remarkable bravery, resourcefulness, accomplishments—and flaws. ... Suspenseful. ... Moving. ... Fascinating." — Wall Street Journal

        "Exciting. ... An adrenaline-fueled look at one of the wildest times in exploration." — Outside, "Best New Books"

        "[A] detailed account. ... Engaging. ... A welcome perspective." — New York Times Book Review

        "Larson recounts three bold expeditions in 1909. ... How badass were these guys? Peary loses eight toes to frostbite but continues undeterred. ... Despite the hardships, it's hard not to envy living in a time when parts of the world remained unexplored." — Men's Journal ("8 Great New Books to Snag Right Now")

        "Over 100 years ago, in 1909, the North Pole, South Pole, and the highest mountain peaks in the world all remained unclaimed by adventurers, and a generation of explorers were all reaching for those prizes. ... Larson takes us along on three missions, one to each pinnacle of the world." — Popular Science (one of "Five Books You Should Read This Month")

        "Shine[s] a light on the adventures of explorers of old. ... Larson writes in an engaging and fast-moving manner in reacquainting us with those heroes of yesterday who've slipped into the historical shadows." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

        "A masterfully written story of incredible adventures against insurmountable odds." — JIM WHITTAKER, the first American to summit Mt. Everest, former president/CEO of REI, and author of A Life on the Edge

        "Larson delivers riveting tales of stalwart explorers risking their lives for discovery in some of the world's harshest areas. Their successes and even their failures made them heroes. A fascinating look at the adventures of remarkably resilient men, so well-related as to make you feel the chill." — Kirkus Reviews

        "A fine psychological study, a story of bravery and obsession and men who pushed themselves to the edge of sanity. ... Larson captures the excitement and danger that were the defining characteristics of this age of exploration." — Booklist

        "Recommended for those who wish to relive a time when the globe still had empty spaces and the men able to fill in those blank areas were rewarded by the world's adulation." — Lincoln Journal Star

        "In a fast-paced and eloquent narrative, Larson tells the stories of each of these men as they endure hardships of cold, ice, crevasses, open leads in Peary's case, and for the men in Antarctica, near starvation." — Anchorage Daily News

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 1, 2018
        Pulitzer Prize winner Larson (History and Law/Pepperdine Univ.; The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789, 2014, etc.) records the three most important expeditions during a highly significant year in polar exploration.The Gilded Age was a time of great wealth, and men and women wanted to prove they were more than just society figures sipping champagne. Primary among these was the most famous climber at the time, Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, the Duke of the Abruzzi, who held the farthest-north record at the Arctic and first ascent on mountains on three continents. In 1909, he turned to the "Pole of Altitude" in the Himalayas, "one of the world's highest mountains." Mount Everest was out of the question, since Nepal and Tibet had closed their borders, but this would prove an equally difficult challenge. Focusing on the North Pole was American Robert E. Peary, who had mounted seven prior expeditions and had the lost toes to prove it. He had experienced many setbacks--e.g., trying to traverse sea ice that could carry away supplies, disrupt trails, and disorient returning groups. Peary was obsessed with gaining the pole and glory and downplayed scientific records and research while they wintered over. He also plundered the north and the Inuit nation of religious objects, furs, and tusks. Ernest Shackleton relied on ponies and a fairly useless motor car to transport supplies in the Antarctic. His group included the best of scientific experts, split so one group, led by Edgeworth David, headed for the magnetic pole, which is not fixed but migrates with the Earth's fluid core, and the other, led by Shackleton, for the geographic pole. Throughout, Larson delivers riveting tales of stalwart explorers risking their lives for discovery in some of the world's harshest areas. Their successes and even their failures made them heroes.A fascinating look at the adventures of remarkably resilient men, so well-related as to make you feel the chill.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award 

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, a "suspenseful" (WSJ) and "adrenaline-fueled" (Outside) entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world.

As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called “Third Pole,” the pole of altitude, located in unexplored heights of the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth.

In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide at the discovers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic “Furthest...

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1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration
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