A singular, engrossing take on a region that until now has been mostly documented from a scientific angle or romanticized by...




Anthony’s debut—named after the “meat stew of the ravenous”—traces hardships during Antarctic expeditions and the sometimes disconcerting fare borne of isolation.

From blubber to penguin meat, and on infamous occasions, sled dogs and horses, supplemented by canned foods as well as pemmican (a concentrated mixture of fat and protein, the “perfect endurance food used by Native Americans for millennia”), polar cuisine has always had a storied history. The author discusses a variety of Antarctic-related topics, including problems and shortages during the journeys of Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton, Douglas Mawson, Robert Scott and Richard E. Byrd; some of history’s lesser-known expeditions and their cooks; changes brought by researchers and staff during the International Geophysical Year (1957–1958); the U.S. Navy galley at McMurdo; and the exploration efforts of later independent parties. He reveals the resourcefulness and hubris needed to curtail scurvy as well as deprivation in the name of discovery and how initial hurdles gave way to improvements, including cargo transport of fresh goods from New Zealand and better nutritional knowledge. Still, he writes, “Antarctic cuisine has always made prisoners out of residents. The higher someone’s culinary expectations were, the darker the prison they found.” Anthony enlivens historical facts with a knack for choice anecdotes; one man’s minted peas created with toothpaste stand out as much as unexpectedly hotel-worthy midwinter celebrations. In later, thought-provoking chapters, the author considers the environmental toll created by food waste and inefficient management. Anthony concludes with his own experience as support staff.

A singular, engrossing take on a region that until now has been mostly documented from a scientific angle or romanticized by adventurers.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8032-2666-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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