christna capecchi

TWENTY SOMETHING | Waltzing on ice: on crisis and community

When it came time to interview prospective sailors for his expedition across Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton had clear-cut criteria. He had to pick the right men for his journey to the bottom of the world, a newsmaking attempt to be the first to cross the continent via the South Pole.

It was 1914, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the famed British explorer had received hundreds of applications. One applicant recalled Shackleton "asked me if my teeth were good, if I suffered from varicose veins, if I had a good temper and if I could sing."

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