In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette (Paperback)

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In the late nineteenth century, one of the last unmapped places of the globe was the North Pole. The United States and the world was obsessed with news of Arctic exploration. In 1879, American naval officer and explorer George De Long set sail with a crew of 32 men on the U.S.S. Jeanette only to disappear in the Arctic waters of Russia. Their fate was not to be discovered until years later. Hampton Sides vividly reconstructs the time period and the expedition itself. Fascinating narrative history at its best.

— Cody

This is an incredible story of exploration and survival set in the 19th century Arctic and meticulously documented. The hardships and obstaces endured are almost beyond the comprehension and the tenacity of the men involved is inspiring. It is a historical account that is both exhilirating and heartrending. 

— From Bill's 2016 picks and older

August 2014 Indie Next List

“Sides tells more than a fateful story of exploration, he brings to life an entire era of discovery and the passions that drove it. We meet a wild newspaper magnate who, in addition to racing carriages at midnight in the nude, exiled himself to France after drunkenly urinating in his then-fiancee's grand piano; an obsessive German cartographer who staunchly believed in a warm, open polar sea at the North Pole; and a strong-willed captain who fell madly in love with the impossible, glaciered grandeur of Earth above the 80th parallel. The meeting of these three eccentric minds led to the voyage of the USS Jeanette, and Sides tells the ship's tragic story well in cinematic prose with a keen sense of his characters and their changing world.”
— Michael Wallenfels, University Book Store, Seattle, WA


A Best Book of the Year
USA Today * Time Magazine * Washington Post * Miami Herald * Richmond Times Dispatch * Christian Science Monitor * Daily Beast * Minneapolis Star Tribune

On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette.

Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carriedthe aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the Jeannette's hull was breached by an impassable stretch of pack ice, forcing the crew to abandon ship amid torrents of rushing of water. Hours later, the ship had sunk below the surface, marooning the men a thousand miles north of Siberia, where they faced a terrifying march with minimal supplies across the endless ice pack.

Enduring everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and labyrinths of ice, the crew battled madness and starvation as they struggled desperately to survive. With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.

About the Author

HAMPTON SIDES is an award-winning editor of Outside and the author of the bestselling histories Hellhound on his Trail, Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780307946911
ISBN-10: 0307946916
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Pages: 480
Language: English