Antarctica: The Worst Place in the World.

Baum was a NYTimes reporter and photographer assigned to Operation Deep Freeze for later expeditions. The book is really quite a crude one with a large number of historical inaccuracies, but it has some appeal to romantisizers of the worst place in the world.

p. 67: News from home, the latest in sports, the juiciest gossip and the most recent jokes are what the isolated men crave most from new arrivals. This craving led to the founding of a newspaper at McMurdo. It is called The McMurdo Sometimer because of the infrequency of publication. It used to call itself “the only daily newspaper on the Antarctic continent,” until the men at now closed Hallett Station decided that they too would have a paper and began publishing a daily sheet of news items called The Hallett Daily Hangover. Distance between the two stations precluded a circulation war….

p. 70-71: At McMurdo and Byrd Stations, classes were organized in history, languages, the general sciences, mathematics, and metalwork. The teachers couldn’t have been better; scientists handled the math and science courses, sheet workers the metal classes, and Annapolis graduates the language instruction.

p. 76-77: Often the men who go to the Antarctic do so with great expectations of finding time for study, reading, and for undertaking that pet project they’ve been planning to do all their lives. Too often, these high hopes are dashed by the environment and the climate….[cf. Byrd in Alone]

p. 84: Inside [the chapel], the walls are covered with wooden plaques bearing the names of those who were members of Deep Freeze wintering-over parties. The chapel, which is used for Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services, also houses McMurdo’s library of five thousand books.