Fritjof Nansen Farthest North

ISBN 13: 9781461067153

Farthest North

 
9781461067153: Farthest North

Farthest North By Fritjof Nansen Voyage in the Fram

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Review:

The Modern Library has unearthed a classic. The long out-of-print Farthest North, one of the first titles in the library's Exploration series, recounts Dr. Fridtjof Nansen's epic 1893 pursuit of the North Pole. Like Jon Krakauer, the series' editor, Nansen was the chronicler of one his age's most sensational adventures. But he was also much more: statesman and explorer, scientist and sex symbol, Nansen's singular character and remarkable spirit demand attention and respect. It's hard to fathom how a story with such an alluring hero was forgotten in the first place.

The good doctor entered the limelight after his landmark first crossing of Greenland in 1888. Shortly after, he concocted a brilliant (or lunatic, depending on whom you asked) scheme to conquer the pole. He and a small crew would freeze a specially designed boat in the ice and drift with the Arctic current, which he believed would carry him from the coast of Siberia northwest to the pole. In mid-voyage, he realized that the current would not carry him far enough. Undaunted, he and a companion set out across the ice with a dogsled. Nansen was left for dead, but when he stumbled upon another exploration team more than a year later--having reached farther north than anyone before him--he returned to Norway an international sensation.

This book, the chronicle of that journey, was hurriedly written to capitalize on that sensation. Penned in only two months, it lacks literary polish, but Nansen's eye for detail and indomitable spirit shine through. Because he wrote while still thawing from his adventures, his story has an exciting immediacy, one that the passing of a century has done little to diminish. As a historical document, as an epic adventure, and as a revival of a worthy hero long forgotten, Farthest North is a tale well worth remembering. --Andrew Nieland

From the Back Cover:

"Nansen was the Chuck Yeager of polar exploration."
--The New York Times Book Review

In 1893 Fridtjof Nansen set sail for the North Pole in the Fram, a ship specially designed to be frozen into the polar ice cap, withstand its crush-ing pressures, and travel north with the sea's drift. Experts said that such a ship couldn't be built and that the mission was tantamount to suicide. Farthest North, first published in 1897 to great popular appeal, is the stirring first-person account of the Fram and her historic voyage. Nansen tells of his expedition's struggle against snowdrifts, ice floes, polar bears, scurvy, gnawing hunger, and the seemingly endless polar night that transformed the Fram into a "cold prison of loneliness." Once it became clear that the Fram could drift no farther, Nansen and crew member Hjalmar Johansen set out on a harrowing fifteen-month sledge journey to reach their destination by foot, which required them to share a sleeping bag of rotting reindeer fur and to feed the weaker sled dogs to the stronger ones. In the end, they traveled 146 miles farther north than any Westerner had gone before, representing the greatest single gain in polar exploration in four centuries. Farthest North is an unforgettable story that marks the beginning of the modern age of exploration and is a must-read for the armchair adventurer.

Born in Norway in 1861, Fridtjof Nansen was a renowned explorer, author, artist, athlete, oceanographer, and statesman. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He died, a national hero, in 1930.

Jon Krakauer is the author of Into Thin Air, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Into the Wild. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Outside, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. He chose the books in the Modern Library Exploration series for their literary merit and historical significance---and because he found them such a pleasure to read.

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Fritjof Nansen
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ISBN 10: 1461067154 ISBN 13: 9781461067153
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Fritjof Nansen
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