Summary of The Lost Men

The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party

First Edition: 2006 more...

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The Lost Men book summary
Executive woes: Shackleton’s supply ship crew paid for his disorganization and lack of preparation, with scurvy, frostbite, hunger and loneliness.


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The world remembers swashbuckling Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as a selfless leader who would do anything for his men. But this tale of the hardships suffered by his support crew paints a different picture of Shackleton – a charismatic and courageous figure, yes, but also a man whose disorganization and carelessness wasted the lives, health, loyalty and courage of half his party. Three members of Shackleton’s Ross Sea party died while leaving supplies of food that Shackleton never used. Historian Kelly Tyler-Lewis uses the survivors’ journals and interviews with their families to chronicle the Ross Party’s relationships and sacrifices in compelling detail, illuminating the missteps and mismanagement that caused the expedition to go awry. getAbstract recommends this study to managers who want examples of how to respond – and how not to respond – in a crisis.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Ernest Shackleton’s supply crew, the Ross Sea party, struggled;
  • How its men stayed alive; and
  • Why Shackleton was blamed for its calamities.


Big Plans, Scarce Resources
In December 1914, Ernest Shackleton’s expedition set sail for Antarctica from Australia. Shackleton already was an experienced Antarctic explorer, having participated in Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition a decade earlier. During a 1908 journey, Shackleton and...
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About the Author

Historian Kelly Tyler-Lewis, visiting scholar of the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge from 2002 to 2004, is an Emmy Award-winning documentary film writer and producer.

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