Beyond the Barrier
Without discrediting the expedition's success or Byrd's leadership, Rodgers shows that the admiral was not the saintly hero he and the press depicted. Nor was the expedition without its problems. Interviews with surviving members of the expedition together with a wealth of other new material indicate that Byrd, contrary to his claims, was not a good navigator--his pilots usually had to find their way by dead reckoning--and that he was not on the actual flight that discovered Marie Byrd Land. The book further reveals a crisis over drunkenness among the men (including Byrd), the admiral's fear of mutiny, and his rewriting of news stories from the pole to embellish his own image.