Behind the great polar explorers of the early twentieth century—Amundsen, Shackleton, Scott in the South, and Peary in the North—looms the spirit of Fridtjof Nansen, the mentor of them all. He was the father of modern polar exploration, the last act of territorial discovery before the leap into space began. A restless, unquiet Faustian spirit, Nansen was a Renaissance Man born out of his time in Norway. He was an adventurer, an artist and historian, and a diplomat who had dealings with Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin, and played a part in the Versailles Peace Conference.
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