cover image The Longest Winter: Scott's Other Heroes

The Longest Winter: Scott's Other Heroes

Meredith Hooper. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $26 (384p) ISBN 9781582437620

2012 marks the centennial of the famous race to the South Pole between Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and Britain's Robert Falcon Scott. Not only did Amundsen triumph%E2%80%94reaching the Pole just two weeks before Scott%E2%80%94but tragically, Scott and the men with him never made it home. The British team, meanwhile, had broader scientific objectives for the trip. Hooper focuses on six members of Scott's team who were left on the eastern glacier with the expectation of being picked up the next year. After spending a year on the ice, they were ready to leave as planned, but the ship that was to pick them up never arrived. Left with few supplies, they were forced to make a winter trek on foot to reach Scott's back-up team. Hooper (The Ferocious Summer) explores how the stressful conditions transformed the relationships of the six men, dissolving class barriers between the three ordinary seamen and the three gentleman adventurers. This gripping scientific adventure story also includes fascinating details about glacial ecology. (Oct.)