Bound for Antarctica, where polar explorer Ernest Shackleton planned to cross on foot the last uncharted continent, the Endurance set sail from England in August 1914. In January 1915, after battling its way for six weeks through a thousand miles of pack ice and now only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed. But for Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men the ordeal had barely begun. It would end only after a near-miraculous journey by Shackleton and a skeleton crew through over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.
This astonishing tale of survival by Shackleton and all twenty-seven of his men for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, "defined heroism." Alfred Lansing's brilliantly narrated book, published in 1959, has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip.
Alfred Lansing (1921-1975) was a native of Chicago. After serving more than five years in the Navy, he enrolled at Northwestern University, where he studied journalism. Until 1949 he edited a weekly newspaper in Illinois, later joined the United Press, and eventually became a freelance writer. Endurance, his first book, was published in 1959.
"One of the most gripping, suspenseful, intense stories anyone will ever read."
– Chicago Tribune
– The New York Times
"Without a doubt this painstakingly written authentic adventure story will rank as one of the classic tales of the heroic age of exploration."
– Christian Science Monitor
"Grit in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity."
– Wall Street Journal
"[An] incomparable telling of Shackleton's travails."
– Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review