Cautionary Tales – South Pole Race: David and Goliath on Ice


1910: Two males are racing each other to be the primary to succeed in the South Pole.
Captain Robert Falcon Scott heads a well-financed, technologically-advanced expedition – aiming to succeed in the pole within the “correct” and heroic means… on foot. Roald Amundsen’s effort is extra modest, counting on low cost sled canines to hold him to victory.

Scott – for all his cash, for all his fancy tools, for all his institutional-backing – is doomed to failure within the ice wastes of Antarctica. Why?

Cautionary Tales is written by me, Tim Harford, with Andrew Wright. It’s produced by Ryan Dilley, with help from Courtney Guarino and Emily Vaughn.

The sound design and unique music is the work of Pascal Wyse. Julia Barton edited the scripts.

Because of the workforce at Pushkin Industries, together with Mia Lobel, Jacob Weisberg, Heather Fain, Jon Schnaars, Carly Migliori, Eric Sandler, Emily Rostek, Royston Beserve, Maggie Taylor, Nicole Morano, Daniella Lakhan and Maya Koenig.

[Apple] [Spotify] [Stitcher]

Additional studying and listening

Stephen Bown The Final Viking

David Crane Scott of the Antarctic

Apsley Cherry-Garrard The Worst Journey within the World

Malcolm Gladwell David and Goliath

Ranulph Fiennes Captain Scott

Roland Huntford The Final Place on Earth

Edward Larson An Empire of Ice

Diana Preston A First Charge Tragedy

Robert Scott The Voyage of the Discovery

Jonathan Karpoff “Public versus Non-public Initiative in Arctic Exploration” Journal of Political Economic system 2001 vol 109



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