"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, an entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world. As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration--set at the world's frozen extremes--lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called Third Pole, the "pole of altitude," located in unexplored heights of the Himalayas. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth. In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide as the discoverers of the North Pole; Britain's Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic farthest-south record, while his expedition mate, Australian Douglas Mawson, had reached the south magnetic pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy's Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that wo
Preface: The wonderful year 1909 -- The aristocracy of adventure, circa 1909 -- The audacity of adventure, circa 1909 -- The allure of adventure, circa 1909 -- The great game -- The Peary way -- Beyond the screaming sixties -- The savage North -- Poles apart -- On top of the world -- The third pole -- Returnings -- The last biscuit.