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The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Great Age of Polar Exploration
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The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Great Age of Polar Exploration

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The Last Explorer A profile of Hubert Wilkins chronicles the seminal contributions of the accomplished journalist, pilot, war hero, scientist, spy, and adventurer, especially in terms of his achievements in the field of polar exploration, the use of new technologies--including the submarine and airplane--and the role of the poles in changes in global weather and climate. F ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 6th 2006 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2005)
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Much like Gavin Menzies' 1421, I read the notes of The Last Explorer with relish. This book opens up the era of great exploration and its relationship to scientific study and the press in a refreshing way. Wilkins criticism of his native Australian government policy, but not its people, and his insights into war, weather and international cooperation are in themselves gifts to readers from down under and well beyond. We can still learn so much from this unsung hero and remarkable explorer. A tru ...more
Martin Gibbs
“True Adventure Thrills” Indeed!

Ever a fan of arctic and polar exploration, the first chapters of this book, while captivating, had me wondering when we’d get to the “good stuff”. Of course, the descriptions of Wilkins’ work as a war photographer were harrowing stories of the unique ability the man in escaping danger and staying alive.

But then we get to “Ultima Thule”, and my eyes rarely strayed from the pages of this book, which translated into one long sleepless night! Nasht skillfully describ
Fascinating look at one of history's most daring, courageous men - a man that the world has seemed to have forgotten over the years. I have never read or heard about a true story where the person encountered so many near-death experiences. From WWI to flying and crashing the first planes MULTIPLE times, to running out of gas while in the air over nothing but the Arctic Ocean, to being in a submarine deep in polar waters when all steering and diving controls are gone, to being shot at in a firing ...more
Riveting history, through biography, of the 20th century: new insights, seemingly well researched. Well written: it flows. I really liked this book.
Very surprised and delighted by this book. The style is a bit breathy, but effective. I agree with Nasht that: "It was Wilkins' restless inquisitiveness about the weather that set him apart." His incredible exploration adventures were unknown to me. But, "it was a goal far more ambitious than the mere attainment of some meaningless geographic spot and it made him a very different to the better-know explorers.

One of the tributes to him states: "He was a great man, and quite unlike so many polar e
While reading The Last Explorer, it struck me that if you gravitate towards reading books on topics you love then I am a sucker for real-life adventure.

I found the historical account of Sir Hubert Wilkins to be fascinating. This man lived through so many near death experiences – from being on the front lines as a photographer during World War I to being in numerous plane crashes as a pioneer in aviation. He even walked out of the Arctic after a crash landing and was the first to lead a dive in a
Having recently read several biographical and autobiographical accounts of Robert Byrd, it was surprising to discover that Hubert Wilkins was a far more satisfying and accomplished hero who for whatever reason time has nearly forgotten. This exhaustive account of his life was jam packed with detail, and Wilkins lived to a ripe old age, a rarity among polar explorers of this time period, so it became a very long book and a bit tedious.

However, I am interested in meteorology and tales of true adv
Feb 04, 2015 Katariina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Rekisteröin kirjan!
Amazing story of an inspirational Australian. I am ashamed to not have known anything about Hubert Wilkins before reading this book. There was not even a hint of his expeditions, explorations, achievements and ambitions in my school education. Perhaps it is because he attempted missions that failed, or put his science before his country? This man survived more near death experiences than any make believe action hero in a Hollywood movie. Decorated war hero, polar explorer, news reporter, spy, av ...more
The details of Wilkins' extraordinary career make great reading. The facts themselves - what he did, where he went - are astonishing. However, the author tends to fawn over his subject just a little too much; it seems almost as if Wilkins never felt fear, never had regrets, rarely made mistakes. The man comes across as a little too much of a super-hero to be real. I wonder if a different writer might have portrayed Wilkins as stubborn, foolish and lucky rather than brave and persistent.
I am a bit torn about this book. It has some amazing parts, it has quite a few really slow parts - I guess there is simply a lot less "adventure" in the book than I was expecting.

But, here is the thing. I have found myself thinking more about this book after reading it than many other books. It really paints a picture of what it takes to be an explorer, in any aspect of life. I find myself thinking about the book because it is full of life lessons without ever trying to be so.
Interesting account of the life of an amazingly courageous man, driven by his desire to set up meteorological stations to inform scientists about the causes of extreme weather conditions. In this quest, he ends up becoming a major explorer of both poles, including flying across both poles in the late 1920's and making a submarine voyage in the arctic in 1931 - risking his life as he attempted to use emerging technology for scientific gain.
A good story, and very interesting about a person who was so instrumental in history that is not well known. However, I think Nasht breezed over aspects that I would have liked to know more about. More in depth coverage would have been appreciated.
Well written history book. Good book for those interested in the 1900 to 1940s time period and arctic exploration. He crossed paths with well known explorers Amundsen, Shackleton, Byrd, Stefansson, and others.
Curtis Nugent
A really good biography of an explorer that gets relatively little press. Wilkins seemed to be much more active exploring than Shackleton and Mawson. Very interesting read.
Absolutely brilliant story about an Australian who led a brilliant and exciting life. Why don't we all know his name in this country? Very well written and enthralling biography
For a dude who led such an exciting life, the book about him is not super exciting. I'm barely 100 pages and seven chapters in, and had to put it down.
Butch Howard
Superb story of an unknown hero. Anyone interested in history should read; great ties to modern day submarining as well.
Daniel Farquhar
I've never been on for adventure/hero books, but this is a fantastic read.

Kane Waterworth
Best thing I have read. What a life (even if it is not true).
bought today 1 of 12 books for $10 the lot.
Noran Miss Pumkin
May 14, 2012 Noran Miss Pumkin marked it as to-read
kindle book deal of the day
Caroline marked it as to-read
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Simon Nasht is one of Australia’s most experienced history documentary filmmakers. He is a former political reporter and foreign correspondent for The Age and the ABC.

He is a regular contributor to ABC Radio National, The Australian, Sunday Age and other newspapers.

Currently, he is a producer at Real Pictures, and previously co-producer at Essential Media, partner at Gabriel Films New York and j
More about Simon Nasht...
The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Australia's Unknown Hero No More Beyond: The Life of Hubert Wilkins. Simon Nasht No More Beyond: The Life of Hubert Wilkins Fall of the Leaning Tower Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Hero of the Golden Age of Polar Exploration

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“that the sum of a man’s life is not measured just by its accomplishments, but by how it is spent.” 0 likes
“Make no little plans,” he urged. “They have no magic to stir men’s blood.” 0 likes
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