The Amundsen Photographs

edited and with an introduction by Roland Huntford. Atlantic Monthly, $35.00. Roald Amundsen, first man to reach the South Pole, co-commander of the first flight across the North Pole, hero of other exploits of exploration, was also chronically in debt. He regularly tried to raise money by lecturing, using lantern slides to illustrate his talks. Some of these slides were recently found in an Oslo attic in a packing case labeled HORLICKS MALTED MILK. In combination with Mr. Huntford’s informative text and copious quotations from Amundsen’s diaries, the pictures give a lively impression of what a long, difficult expedition was really like. As photographs, they are amateurish. Amundsen was an innovator in the use of dogs, diesel power, ski bindings, and gear in general, but for photography he largely depended on whatever cameras his crew had thought to bring along. The very informality of the pictures adds to their sense of immediacy.