The White Desert.

Barber was a British journalist under contract to write for the Daily Mail on the Fuchs/Hillary Trans-Antarctic Expedition. He spent the austral summer of 1957-58 in Antarctica, mainly at McMurdo but making two substantial visits to the South Pole and was there when Hillary and then Fuchs arrived in 1958. He takes a British anti-Hillary stance on the controversy over Hillary’s arrival at the SP and makes him into a quite unattractive figure. But he is not uncritical of Fuchs either, finding him stuffy, portentous, too proud to accept help offered by the Americans, but accepting it on a number of dire occasions. Nor does he note how Adm. Dufek is complicit in the feud of Fuchs and Hillary by encouraging Hillary to go to the Pole on his plane when it should have been none of Dufek’s business. He rather simply sees Dufek as an innocently generous American with little agenda of his own.

p. 27, of the Shackleton Base on the Weddell Sea and its living room that: Queen’s portrait hangs at the end; other walls decorated gay travel posters and one water color. Library shelves round the wall and four-berth cabins open off north wall.

p. 34, he too had a half dozen books about Antarctica with him for the flight to Christchurch.

p. 43, at McMurdo Camp: There was no officers’ mess. The one mess hall was also the cinema. There was a small library, but it had only two chairs. If a man wanted to read or drink a tin of beer, he had to do it sitting on his bed.

p. 61, in the main living room at the South Pole: The other quarter of the hut was the recreation section. The gramophone was playing Mendelssohn as I walked in. Books and magazines lined the walls, and on a small bench was the “Pole Post Office” which cancelled American stamps with its magical dateline, so sought after by philatelists.

p. 71, at the South Pole: …there was always plenty of time for good music, for the Pole had a library of classics I would dearly love to own myself.

p. 94: No, we didn’t talk much, and the members of both Hillary’s and Fuchs’ party later told me they faced the same problem. Life was too exhausting, even without heavy physical labor, to do anything that wasn’t strictly necessary. Personally, I read from the small library; at McMurdo I read on an average a book a night, usually starting about nine P.M. and finishing in the early hours of the morning, then sleeping the morning away.

p. 114, on cheating time in combating boredom.

p. 122, Hillary and his farm tractors proceding to the Pole: “Some of us read books while sitting in the tractors becamse only one tractor needed to be navigated as they were roped together. The others followed in its tracts and their drivers were either reading of even sometimes dozing. In fact one of our biggest hardships was when our library ran out.