The White Darkness

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Arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton led some of the most famous expeditions in history, and is remembered for his tenacity, leadership, and willingness to put the welfare of his crew above his own ambitions. His legacy served as inspiration to Henry Worsley, a modern-day adventurer who revered Shackleton above all else — and sought to follow in his hero’s footsteps.

The White Darkness tracks Worsley’s journeys to Antarctica, including his attempt to cross the continent alone and on foot, dragging all his equipment and facing the dangers of ice storms, hidden crevasses, and frostbite. In under 200 pages, David Grann illuminates one man’s obsessive quest to prove himself by conquering the planet’s most unforgiving landscape.

“He had just reached the summit of the Titan Dome and was beginning to descend, the force of gravity propelling him toward his destination, which was only about a hundred miles away. He was so close to what he liked to call a ‘rendezvous with history.’ Yet how much farther could he press on before the cold consumed him? He had studied with devotion the decision-making of Shackleton, whose ability to escape mortal danger was legendary, and who had famously saved the life of his entire crew when an expedition went awry. Whenever Worsley faced a perilous situation — and he was now in more peril than he’d ever been — he asked himself one question: what would Shacks do?”

David Grann is the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, The Lost City of Z, The Killers of the Flower Moon, and The White Darkness.  He has also written for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

Published: 2018
Length: 160 pages
Set in: Antarctica