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Explorer: The Life of Richard Byrd

In the brief span of a decade, Richard E. Byrd vaulted into the national consciousness with a series of epic adventures: one of the very first humans to fly the high Arctic; first to fly to the North Pole; a daring flight through stormy skies across the Atlantic in Lindbergh's wake, then leading two dramatic and scientifically productive expeditions to Antarctica, each lasting eighteen months. With a relative handful of companions, Byrd endured long, dark, wind-lashed, and bitterly cold Antarctic winters; flew over the South Pole, then foolishly tried to live alone over one hundred twenty miles from the tiny settlement he had established at Little America II. His daring rescue in the midst of an Antarctic night is one of the little realized epics of polar adventure. Byrd's imprint on Antarctic exploration and science lasted until his death at the very moment that the International Geophyiscal Year, 1957-58 was about to commence. Polar archivist Raimond Goerler has called Explorer a prominent addition to American biography, history, and polar exploration. Noted Aviation and Space author Roger Launius has pronounce Explorer "A superb modern biography. Lisle Rose has captured Byrd's sense of adventure and egotism, chivalry and charlatanism, public hucksterism and private power-broking" as the explorer employed every personal resource to obtain the support he needed to carry out his privately financed and led polar expeditions.