Captain Robert Falcon Scott didn't start out life as a hero. In fact, as a boy and young man he was considered small, frail and shy. So what was it that turned this ordinary man into a legend?Through his gripping new account of how this modest naval officer became Scott of the Antarctic, Neil Oliver vividly relates the awe-inspiring tales that inspired Britain's greatest hero. And alongside these epics of courage, fortitude and sacrifice, Oliver tells the astonishing stories of those heroes who followed Scott and whose deeds stood comparison with this iconic explorer's own humbling example.From Rorke's Drift to the Battle of Britain and Nelson to Neil Armstrong, these are men who understood - as Scott always did - that it was more important to die a hero than live a coward's life.
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Presenter of the hugely popular BBC series Coast, Neil Oliver is an archaeologist and author. His television credits also include Two Men in a Trench and The One Show. Neil lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children, Evie, Archie and Teddy.From Booklist:
This breathless tribute to stiff upper lips initially comes off as grating—the phrase manly men is bandied about constantly and without a trace of humor. But regardless of Oliver’s storytelling quirks, the tales in his compendium of courage are powerful and, much like his vaunted heroes, win the day through brute force and sheer will. The fantastic (and the fantastically doomed) are all here—the stormers of Normandy, the defenders of the Alamo, the 300 warriors of Sparta—and Oliver relays each of their sagas with such old-fashioned brio that you can almost smell the cigars and brandy. The conceit, laid plain in the introduction, is that boys still desire to be straight of back and firm of handshake—and that exposure to these tales will squash the metrosexual right out of them. A questionable premise, perhaps, but it’s all very rousing, particularly the narrative of Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Scott that alternates with each chapter. Oliver’s intertwining of the tales somewhat lessens their value as short stories, though it does further adrenalize the epic throughline. --Daniel Kraus
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