Mr. Kugelmass' latest biography for the Messner series (see his books on Louis Braille, Ralph Bunch and others) outlines the explorer's harsh yet satisfying life in naturalistic detail that focuses on the long hard journeys and the frustrations he had to endure to become the first man to stand on the south pole and the first man to set foot on both poles. Born in Norway in 1872, Amundsen spent his early life training himself for the rigors of arctic travel- exercising and trekking to build himself up. His slow entry into the exploring world was not easy; he was 25 by the time a Belgian expedition hired him and his first ship the Gjoa, sailed north to escape debt. But Amundsen was an undaunted hero as he sailed time after time, seeking and finding the passages and territories that made him famous. An informative record of bravery.