Antarctica

General Books about Antarctica

There is no one book which covers all aspects of Antarctica - the subject is too large, and no one author can capture all the approaches to the subject. Having said that there are some good introductory books, which cover many aspects of Antarctica.

ANTARCTICA - Great Stories from the Frozen Continent Reader's Digest
I really like this book as an all round reference about Antarctica. Very under rated, and out of print. Look for it on www.abebooks.com
Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica Sara Wheeler
This is a wonderfully written, and well rounded view of Antarctica, from the early exploration, through the heroic era, and into the modern era. Wheeler travelled extensively in Antarctica and mixes personal experience throughout the book. The only weakness is that I feel she does not understand the motivation and culture of the modern Antarctic resident.
Life on the Ice: No One Goes to Antarctica Alone Roff Smith
I met Roff in 2001/2002 at South Pole. We flew to Pole together and because of his great 3 part series about cycling around Australia we had a few things in common. For some reason I don't have a copy of this book, but have read most of it. It is a good introdcution to Antarctica, and Roff gives a better general view of living and working in Antarctica than any other book. I especially like the chapters he mentions me in! I really like Roff's writing style.
Lonely Planet Antarctica Jeff Rubin
I love Lonely Planet books. I'm not sure why this one doesn't grab me as much as most of their books. I should say that I only have the first edition, and the second edition is better. I think there are too many facts, but not enough stories. But facts are important. Also Lonely Planet to me is about the counter culture, and if you ant this about Antarctica, "Big Dead Place" is where to find it.
Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica Nicholas Johnson, Erik Sonneland
When I first started working with USAP I started seeing a underground newsletter called "The Symmes Antarctic Intelligencer". It made me double up with laughter, then realised I was trapped in this nightmare for the next year at the South Pole. Nick has since gone on to produce a great web site, and now this book. If you want a peek into the modern corporate culture of big science and logistics with the largest Antarctic program and how real people with real lives try and deal with this (the modern harsh continent) - this is it warts and all.

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