McMurdo is the Sound between Ross Island and the Antarctic mainland. It is said that life in that area is ""Antarctic life in a nutshell"". For this reason, the author has chosen to describe in detail the discovery of McMurdo and the conditions that exist there. Having thus launched his readers into the deserted world of the South Pole, William Bixby continues his geographical and historical survey by recounting the most famous Antarctic expeditions from the first penetrations to the trips taken in the mid-20th century. How many of the environmental and climactic obstacles have been overcome is also an important consideration. This is authenticated factual writing in which Mr. Bixby makes no attempt to embellish the material with a sense of adventure. Rather, he relies on the inherent excitement of his subject to interest the reader. Much of this has been expanded into full-length books, the Scott and Shackleton expeditions in particular -- but as an overall picture, this should fill a definite place.