A sympathetic but not uncritical account of Ellsworth, his problems with his father, his relationships to Amundsen and Nobile on Svalberg to Alaska flight, etc.
p. 178, aboard Wyatt Earp enroute to Antarctica from Dunedin, during very heavy seas: With no general cabin and a mess room so small it would seat only six at a time, those off duty retreated to their bunks to read or nap. Belying Balchen’s sneer that Wilkins read only novels, Ellsworth remembered him as having his own small library of books on philosophy and medical matters, as well as a gramophone on which, in calmer weather, he played soft music in the evenings. According to Ellsworth, Wilkins might also spend an evening pondering the provocative philosophy of Nietzsche.
p. 192, on the Polar Star flight in Antarctica, 1935: As if to absorb the spirit of his frontier hero, he carried Wyatt Earp’s cartridge belt with his belongings, and wore the frontier marshal’s gold ring. He also brought a small Bible with him.
p. 205-6, at Little America following his trans-Antarctic flight, Dec. 1935 to Jan. 1936, where he and Kenyon found some good books at this abandoned base: Kenyon had found plenty of books in the camp and he read constantly, never speaking, his pipe incessantly gurgling. Ellsworth had left his glasses on the plane and was unable to read, although he worked on his log and reworked navigation sights taken during the flight.