Baker & Taylor Looks at the life of the Norwegian polar explorer, describing Amundsen's approach to expeditions and his flair for self-promotion and publicity.
In the early 1900s, many of the great geographical mysteries that had intrigued adventurers for centuries remained unsolved: the polar regions -- the Northwest Passage, the South Pole, the North Pole and the Northeast Passage -- despite having claimed countless lives, were still shrouded in mystery. One man would claim all these prizes within a span of 20 years.
Roald Amundsen was larger than life, arrogant and competitive. He was also a meticulous organizer and planner, willing to learn from the mistakes of others, and humble enough to seek the advice of indigenous peoples skilled in arctic survival -- thus avoiding the early death that was so common among other explorers.
But Amundsen's life was one of sharp contrasts: reviled by the British for defeating Robert Falcon Scott, he was loved by his men, hailed as a hero in his native Norway and idolized as a charming and eccentric celebrity in the US. Drawing on hundreds of recently uncovered press clippings, The Last Viking goes beyond Amundsen's conflicted legacy, revealing a humorous, self-deprecating storyteller and a visionary and showman who who won over both his sponsors and his audiences with the same verve that characterized his geographical conquests.