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Great book, great pictures, great leadership
am 9. Mai 2000
Bookstores are flooded with various titles covering Shackleton's Endurance expedition, but I heartily recommend starting with this excellent release from Caroline Alexander.
The narrative is a well told accounting of the origins of the voyage, the expedition itself, and a good epilogue that feeds your desire to know what became of these guys after the completion of the journey. Alexander did her homework here - she talked to the few remaining crewman still alive after all these years as well as the family members of those crew members that have passed away.
However, what sets the book apart from the rest of the field is the lush, magnificent printing of 170 of Frank Hurley's stunning photographs. The photos do more than any words can to enhance the readers understanding of the stunning polar conditions and deprivations suffered by the crew. Flip through any of the other books about the Endurance, and you'll find a only small sub-set of Hurley's photos, usually notable only by their poor reproduction quality (Shackleton's own 'South' memoir springs to mind).
In addition to its intrinsic value in describing one of the foremost adventurers of the Polar Age, the book is also helpful to anyone looking to learn about leadership. Shackleton took his responsibilities of leadership very seriously & practiced the art long before anyone like Peter Drucker or Tom Peters came along to give it a name and study it. Shackleton's tendency to be inclusive rather than exclusive and his expert reading of the personalities that comprised the crew were the key differences between survival and death. Alexander does a wonderful job reporting the episodes that capture the essence of Shackleton's role as a true leader of men.