The Library Foundation's
2016 Annual Fund Benefit:
Hampton Sides—In the Kingdom of Ice
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Community Center Auditorium
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
The JF Library Foundation is honored to announce New York Times best-selling author Hampton Sides will headline its Annual Benefit on February 25, 2016.
Sides is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, a Yale graduate, and winner of a 2002 PEN Center USA Award. An acclaimed journalist and author, his best sellers include Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, Hellhound on His Trail, and most recently, the book he will present on Boca Grande, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette.
In the Kingdom of Ice is the gripping, historical account of the last major attempt to reach the North Pole in the Age of Sail. This little-known story of American history reads like a psychological thriller – a great tale of the late nineteenth century, set in a “howling, deadly wilderness.” Lt. Commander George Washington DeLong left San Francisco in 1879 with thirty-two men on what became a 1,000-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean. Launched with international fanfare, the expedition was terribly deceived by the imperfect geographic knowledge of the era. When the ship became trapped in ice, fiercely determined Captain DeLong and his men faced ferocious storms, polar bears and starvation as they resolutely pursued their goal.
About this 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.
About this Book
New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age.
In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents sustained a verdant island at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores.
James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world’s attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation on an even more epic scale. So he funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the Pole, choosing as its captain a young officer named George Washington De Long, who had gained fame for a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland. De Long led a team of 32 men deep into uncharted Arctic waters, carrying the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of “Arctic Fever.”
The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship. Less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom, and the men found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Thus began their long march across the endless ice—a frozen hell in the most lonesome corner of the world. Facing everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and frosty labyrinths, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for survival.
With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.