New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age
In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents sustained a verdant island at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores.
James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation on an even more epic scale. So he funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the Pole, choosing as its captain a young officer named George Washington De Long, who had gained fame for a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland. De Long led a team of 32 men deep into uncharted Arctic waters, carrying the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever."
The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship. Less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom,and the men found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Thus began their long march across the endless ice—a frozen hell in the most lonesome corner of the world. Facing everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and frosty labyrinths, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for survival.
With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.
Loved this book!
It reads like fiction- with quirky, stranger than fiction characters. The crew, obviously, goes through it’s share of tragedy and loss; but overall, the redeeming qualities of people, looking out for one another, ultimately overshadow the hardships and reveal the humanity at it’s finest.
Under the arctic Fire -Sting
Excellent book from beginning to end, the author opens up for us an uncharted portion of American history in a story that sometimes feels to crazy to be true, leadership and the human will are in full display in the harshest environments this world has to offer. Remarkable.
Great account of shear human will but with influences of modern day social issues
It was a great historical account of the time. The atmosphere was very well explained for that era. It did jump ahead in some instances months later I would have preferred a detailed account of the entire expedition. Altogether I thought that it was a great book except for the fact that there is modern day personal bias towards social issues that did not exist back then. I believe the term is “making mountains out of mole hills” in order to convey your opinion as historical fact and in so facto making it a modern day scientific law. I did not care for that at all. My goal in reading these types of books is to gain first hand account perspective and information then coming up with a logical conclusion based on a birds eye view of known factors call hindsight. In some instances you can tell that he is telling you what the facts are and to think otherwise is wrong. I would say that the author had a narrow minded approach to modern and historical social issues and failed to take into account the bigger picture or see it from another point of view.