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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There is something endlessly fascinating about exploration. In a world increasingly mapped, scrutinized, and understood, you can’t help but feel like something has been lost. No dark continents, no “here there be dragons” on maps. And so, we find ourselves turning to the past to relive the great adventures of years gone by.

To the Edges of the Earth chronicles three particular efforts to conquer “the three poles” in 1909 — the North Pole, the South Pole, and the highest elevation record available in a world without access to the Himalayas.

Thankfully, although the book celebrates the usual stories of human triumph and survival, it doesn’t turn a blind eye to either the logistics of these adventures (like raising funds and courting investors) or the uglier side of such celebrity (abusing native populations, manipulating the press, sabotaging rivals).

Larson endeavors to deliver the unvarnished truth about these incredible achievements, somehow making them more tangible by revealing the nitty-gritty details of how the sausage is made. He strips away the myths and legends — even questioning some long-established claims — and elevates some lesser-appreciated historical icons.

To the Edges of the Earth brings to life a world where those edges were never sharper.

Chris Hayden

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Edward Larson
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher William Morrow
Publish Date 2018-Mar-13
ISBN 9780062564474
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category History
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