The book is over 500 pages long called Antarctica: A Biography by David Day. Here is a link to a review of the book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15830830-antarctica. I agree with many of the individual comments on the review page.
I wasn't surprised at the explorers' determination to be the first to discover different parts of Antarctica and then of course the race to the pole, which I certainly learned about at school and by visiting Canterbury Museum, which has always had a wonderful collection.
But I was disappointed at discovering the geo-political motivations that drove many of the expeditions. And I had to go to the Antarctic Centre to buy a map so I could locate all the places they were describing.
That being said I was glad I read it as it was rich with detail about the history of discovery. I could not imagine what it would be like to explore such an environment without the modern day kit we now have.
Over the summer break, I will finish two New Zealand books. The first is Science on Ice: Discovering the Secrets of Antarctica by award-winning science broadcaster and writer Veronika Meduna. This should give you a flavour of it http://www.press.auckland.ac.nz/en/browse-books/all-books/books-2012/Science-on-Ice-Discovering-the-Secrets-of-Antarctica.html.
It is the science associated with Antarctica, which gives me great hope for the future of the planet. I found this article which summarises why very neatly: http://www.nature.com/news/polar-research-six-priorities-for-antarctic-science-1.15658.
The article points to a second book when it comments that the Antarctic Treaty System, which is responsible for governance of the region, is being tested by mounting environmental pressures and economic interests.
This refers to The Emerging Politics of Antarctica edited by Anne-Marie Brady, an Associate professor in Political Science at the University of Canterbury. I couldn't find a review of the book although it is quoted in a number of articles as I've noted.
So here is a summary I found on one of the purchase websites:
This book examines the post-Cold War challenges facing Antarctic governance. It seeks to understand the interests of new players in Antarctic affairs such as China, India, Korea and Malaysia, and how other key players such as Russia and the USA or claimant states such as New Zealand or France are coping in the new global order.
Antarctica is the world's fifth largest continent and its territories are claimed by seven different states. Since 1961 Antarctica has been managed under the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), a regime which, according to its critics, by the terms of its membership effectively excludes most of the nations of the world. This book examines the post-Cold War challenges facing Antarctic governance, and is organized thematically into three sections:
*Part 1 considers the role of Antarctic politics in the current post-Cold War, post-colonial era and the impact this new political environment is having on the ATS.
*Part 2 looks at the competing foreign policy objectives of a representative range of countries with Antarctic activities.
*Part 3 examines issues that have the potential to destabilise the order of the Antarctic Treaty System, such as unrestricted tourism and new advances in science and technology. The Emerging Politics of Antarctica will be of interest to students and scholars of international politics, polar studies and foreign policy studies.
Before we left New Zealand we were kitted out with the full range of gear we would need – from thermal under garments through to boots, overalls and gloves, along with puffer, soft shell and Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) jackets.
The Antarctica NZ gear by Earth, Sea, Sky http://www.earthseasky.co.nz/ is the envy of all the National Antarctic Programmes with its Emperor Penguin logo matched by the highly visible orange and black jackets.
We flew down on a C17 – the Globemaster – with the US Antarctic Programme. I found a clip on TV3's website which shows inside the plane and the take-off.
I was in one of the good seats you can see. And I had the chance to go up into the cockpit during the flight – a real privilege. http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/video-c17-globemaster-takes-off-for-antarctica-2013081511#axzz3LoZROVWe.