While today the thought of wholesale slaughter of animals like whales and elephants generally causes a sense of disgust, it was not that long ago that seals and whales were hunted commercially. This is a book about a man who, while present at the scene of such killing, was able to do biological research that helped to lead to the management of populations while the hunting went on, and later to the hunting ceasing almost completely, certainly in the case of whales. Pioneering methods of counting populations of animals in the wild and extrapolating what their numbers would be in years to come, he was able to make suggestions as to future practice, although when politics got in the way unfortunately his work sometimes came to naught. When reading this book it is necessary to understand in the 21st century that this was a time of change in the way that the wild was perceived, and the nature reserves we now take for granted were only just coming into existence. The hardships endured by the men working in the field in the Antarctic at this time is graphically described and the reader is given a real feel for what life was like there. The author's ability to paint verbal pictures of all the countries he found himself working in is a delight.