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A groundbreaking history of human interaction with Antarctica, the last continent on earth. For centuries it was suspected that there must be an undiscovered continent in the southern hemisphere. But explorers failed to find one. On his second voyage to the Pacific, Captain James Cook sailed further south than any of his rivals but failed to sight land. It was not until 1820 that the continent's frozen coast was finally discovered and parts of the continent began to be claimed by nations that were intent on having it as their own. That rivalry intensified in the 1840s when British, American and French expeditions sailed south to chart further portions of the continent that had come to be called Antarctica. On and off for nearly two centuries, the race to claim exclusive possession of Antarctica has gripped the imagination of the world. Science was enlisted to buttress the rival claims as nations developed new ways of asserting territorial claims over land that was too forbidding to occupy. Although the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 was meant to end the rivalry, it has continued regardless, as new nations became involved and environmentalists, scientists and resource compan
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About the Author

David Day, born in 1949, is an Australian historian and author. Day has written widely on Australian history and the history of the Second World War. Among his many books are Menzies and Churchill at War and a two volume study of Anglo-Australian relations during the Second World War. His prize-winning history of Australia, Claiming a Continent, won the prestigious non-fiction prize in the 1998 South Australian Festival Awards for Literature. An earlier book, Smugglers and Sailors, was shortlisted by the Fellowship of Australian Writers for its Book of the Year Award. John Curtin- A Life was shortlisted for the 2000 NSW Premier's Literary Awards' Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction.

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