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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nansen - A man of the times, 18 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Nansen: The Explorer as Hero (Paperback)
Having lived i Norway for many years, I thought it was about time I knew a little more about this Nansen fellow. I was quite blown away by Huntford's book. With its wealth of detail, it loses nothing on the second and even third reading. It sent me on a quest to find out more about this increadible man. Self-confidant, daring and challenging, yet melancholic and self-searching Nansen was a complex and charismatic figure. From pioneer work on the nervous system, to artic travels, skiing, oceanography, history, art, diplomacy and humanitarian work, Nansen had a hand in just about everything going on in Norway and Europe during his adult life.
Having delved into some of the source material since reading this book, I don't quite agree with all of Huntford's interpretation of his personal characteristics, which he tends to oversimplyfy and overstate. (his relationship with his children, for example) But these are only trifling "complaints."
Nansen may have a more local appeal than the Scott/Amundsen saga. However, if you want to be inspired by someone who really lived upto the phrase "just do it" Nansen is your man, and this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Most Comprehensive Nansen Biography, 22 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Nansen: The Explorer as Hero (Paperback)
I am familiar with seven Nansen biographies and Huntford's is the most comprehensive, realistic and detailed. I believe that every thinking adult should learn something about Fridtjof Nansen, largely because his way of solving problems would help us to face our uncertain future. Huntford's book is impressive. It emphasizes exploration, which should make mass-audience readers happy, but does so at the expense of Nansen's other accomplishments. In particular, Nansen's overwhelmingly important role in orchestrating the transition of oceanography from a descriptive enterprise resembling exploration to part of true science is underdone.

Many readers will find a 610-page book too big to digest. Others might find the many references to Nansen's personal life too intrusive or deflating.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for polar fans., 3 Mar. 2002
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P. Robson (Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nansen: The Explorer as Hero (Paperback)
Another in Huntford's excellent series of Polar Biographies. The book roughly divides into three parts. Nansen's first Greenland crossing, his drift with Fram and attempt on the North Pole, and his political life thereafter. Not quite as gripping as Huntford's books on Shackleton and Scott/Amundsen, but well worth a read if you enjoyed those two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keen follower of all things Norwegian, 8 May 2009
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Mr. R. Burridge (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nansen: The Explorer as Hero (Paperback)
Very well researched biography. Described the development of Nansen's character and his relationships with contemporaries. There was more to this man than polar exploration, and the author showed Nansen's important role in Norwegian politics.He easily ranks with Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen as one of the great explorers. There is more to him than polar adventures, and we see in the end a man who didn't entirely fulfil his dreams. This book is thoroughly absorbing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Huntford book, 15 Feb. 2007
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This review is from: Nansen: The Explorer as Hero (Paperback)
I had read and enjoyed both the Amudsen/Scott and Shackleton books.This is another big book but still very enjoyable. The main attraction to me was to read more about Nansen's drift on Fram and attempt on North Pole. This desription is very well written and an amazing story. The last part of the book focuses on Nansen as a "diplomat". I found some parts a bit dull but did learn more about the incrediable man.

I had come to Nansen after reading about Scott, Amuudsen, Mawson, Franklin, Cook, Peary etc.. I wish I had started with Nansen as in some ways he was the grandfather of polar exploration
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Nansen: The Explorer as Hero
Nansen: The Explorer as Hero by Roland Huntford (Paperback - 6 Dec. 2001)
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