There was a time when large swaths of the earth were still uncharted, their history yet to be written. At the beginning of the 20th century, one of the last such places captivated the world’s imagination: Antarctica.
What lay at its center? What were its contours? These and other questions drove men such as Robert Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and Roald Amundsen to risk everything. Their names are legendary, but a fellow polar explorer has slipped from our collective memory: Douglas Mawson. David Roberts gives him his due in Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013).