The race to the South Pole rages on in the history books
On Dec. 14, 1911, a five-man Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen became the first explorers to reach the South Pole. Another five-man expedition reached the pole just 34 days later, this time a led by British Navy Captain Robert Falcon Scott.
But a century later, both teams still seem to be competing against one another....
Initially, Scott was seen as a tragic hero, particularly in Britain and other English-speaking countries. Many observers outside Scandinavia regarded Amundsen — who had secretly changed his destination from the North to the South Pole — as a usurper who had unsportingly jumped in on Scott's long-planned mission.
Then in 1979, a book by Roland Huntford, a British journalist with long experience in Scandinavia, painted an entirely different picture. In "Scott and Amundsen," Huntford portrayed Scott as an incompetent martinet and Amundsen as a perfect team leader who serenely achieved results....
Recently, views have begun to change again.
Some historians point to the two ventures' contrasting goals. While Amundsen sought only the pole, they say, Scott's expedition included several prominent scientists who carried out significant research in other parts of Antarctica as the five-man team undertook its polar journey....
comments powered by Disqus
- Is it a reminder of Nazis or a historical object worthy of saving?
- Supreme Court reveals that the docket books of many justices survive -- and are being made available
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies