The land without people and the icy waste that is home to thousands are presented here in enthusiastic and vivid recollections from those-who-first. . . and the range is worth its weight in pemmican. There are separate sections on the Arctic and Antarctic, the North and South Poles, and the selections range from casual memories and archaeological deductions about Eskimos to the 1958 triumph of the Nautilus, from descriptions of atmospheric phenomena at the bottom of the world to the last written words of the sadly second-place Scott. The intricacies of caribou and walrus hunting, a growing understanding of bodily change in response to frigid temperatures, stiff upper lips after a colleague's death, the potential of polar living as a lab for duplicating stress conditions in space explorations--the styles vary according to writer and century but most convey a strong personal character. Don't keep it a secret.