October 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
A new perspective on one of history’s great heroes, with access to Shackleton’s original diaries and personal correspondence, Michael Smith is able to present a fresh understanding of an explorer who endured so much to further our knowledge of the Antarctic.
Like for Like Reading
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic, Alfred Lansings
The Lost Men: The Harrowing Story of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party, Kelly Tyler-Lewis
Ernest Shackleton is one of history's great explorers, an extraordinary character who pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago and became a dominant figure in Antarctic discovery. A charismatic personality, his incredible adventures on four expeditions have captivated generations and inspired a dynamic, modern following in business leadership. None more so than the Endurance mission, where Shackleton's commanding presence saved the lives of his crew when their ship was crushed by ice and they were turned out on to the savage frozen landscape. But Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life, marked by romantic affairs, unfulfilled ambitions, overwhelming debts and failed business ventures, contrasted with his celebrity status as a leading explorer. Drawing on extensive research of original diaries and personal correspondence, Michael Smith's definitive biography brings a fresh perspective to our understanding of this complex man and the heroic age of polar exploration.
One of the great explorers and a gifted leader of his men, Shackleton was a courageous and principled man, despite being unable to organise his own finances or love life. Thirty years after the last full biography of Shackleton and in the centenary year of the Endurance expedition to Antarctica, Michael Smith has combed the archives, including Shackleton’s diaries and private correspondence, to give us a fresh perspective on this inspirational man. This is a scholarly tome, though very readable, and Smith’s research has uncovered some interesting side stories, such as Frank, Shackleton’s brother’s, part in the 1907 robbery of the Irish Crown Jewels. However, the main event is the Antarctic expedition, and what makes Shackleton a hot topic at today’s business schools is not his financial ineptitude, but his decision to put his men’s lives first and head for home even when his prize was in sight.
'The epic struggles, heroics and unbelieveable hardships of the voyages are wonderfully told. Compulsive reading.'
-The Irish Times on An Unsung Hero
'A fascinating book - warm, complex, engaging - just like the man himself. This absorbing new biography strips away the myths and misconceptions to reveal one of the twentieth century's most important explorers in all his flawed genius.'
-Mick Conefrey, author of Everest, 1953
'Perhaps the most riveting biography I've ever read.'
-Orlando Sentinel on An Unsung Hero
Publication date: 02/10/2014
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
|Publication date:||2nd October 2014|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month,|
Michael Smith, a former journalist, is an established authority on polar exploration. He has written a number of books including An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean Antarctic Survivor, which was short-listed for the Banff Mountain Book Festival 2002. The illustrated version was shortlisted for the Irish Published Book of the Year 2007. He contributes to TV and radio documentaries and lectures on polar history.More About Michael Smith