Endurance

By Alfred Lansing,

Book cover of Endurance

Book description

In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked Endurance as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I bought Endurance after watching the show Atypical, in which the main character, Sam, is obsessed with the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

At the time, I had barely heard of Shackleton, but I was quickly captivated by this tale of his doomed Antarctic expedition. I don’t think I have ever read a more gripping story of perseverance and survival. After the Endurance was destroyed by ice, the crew spent two years alone in Antarctica and amazingly, not a single man died.

Despite setback after setback and seemingly through sheer force of will, Shackleton saved his entire crew. In describing…

Another book about seafarers with deep business lessons.

Lansing’s riveting account of Ernest Shackleton and his wayward crew teaches much about when and how to “pivot.”

W. Brian Arthur wrote, “Entrepreneurship in advanced technology, is not merely a matter of decision-making; it is a matter of imposing cognitive order on situations that are repeatedly ill-defined.”

Few situations in history were as “ill-defined” as the one the Endurance and its crew encountered, and the story highlights how Shackleton maintained discipline, loyalty, motivation, and perseverance among his crew as they “pivoted” to a radically different strategy and planned under intense pressure and…

This is one of the best survival guides ever, and one of the most compelling looks into how human beings do or don’t accept a disastrous situation and (literally) flow with it. It’s the story of the explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew, after their ship, the aptly named Endurance, got stuck in the Antarctic ice and then crushed by it. They were stranded, through the permanent darkness of the polar winter, on floating ice floes—with only blubber to eat, and no fiber at all (you work out the consequences). No shelter. No light. Water and waves underneath you.…

It’s the name of the book, it’s the name of the ship, and there isn’t a more accurate descriptor imageable for this horrific, and amazing story of survival. Time after time after time, just when you think something is finally going to go right for the crew of the Endurance, everything gets worse. Yet they continue on, against all conceivable odds. Lansing’s masterpiece recounts Ernest Shackleton’s well-known and ill-fated journey to Antarctica, and the multi-year survival of him and his crew. A true nonfiction thriller, you really cannot imagine what is in store for these poor men. How they…

Shackleton’s voyage to the Antarctic is spellbinding, sweeping over me like a tsunami. It begins with the loss of the Endurance, crushed in the ice: “she seemed a huge creature suffering and gasping for breath, her sides heaving against the strangling pressure.” An odd narrative with a huge cast of characters and reconstructed from logbooks, notes, and memories of survivors, what is the secret of its success? I have never read a story in which the elements of the natural world exerted such a continuous challenge. Nature sinks the ship, sends a leopard seal loping across the ice in…

From Gary's list on for would-be travellers.

I read this book after my near-fatal accident in the mountains. The story gave me perspective about enduring hardship. It also rekindled my own adventurous ambitions. This is a gripping tale about Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole in the early 1900’s. Shackleton and his crew were trapped in sea ice before making a harrowing escape in their small lifeboats across frigid and turbulent seas to the shores of South Georgia Island. Later, he and a small group of men traversed glacier-covered mountains to get help at a remote whaling station. Shackleton’s feat of keeping his crew alive for…

From Jean's list on adventure, healing, and growth.

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