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Roland Huntford (born 1927) is an author, principally of biographies of Polar explorers. He lives in Cambridge, and was formerly Scandinavian correspondent of The Observer, also acting as their winter sports correspondent. He was the 1986–1987 Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford.

Roland Huntford

He has written biographies of Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen; these biographies have been the subject of controversy.[citation needed] Huntford's controversial The Last Place on Earth (originally titled Scott and Amundsen) had a tremendous impact on public interest in Polar matters.[citation needed]

Huntford put forth the point of view that Roald Amundsen's success in reaching the South Pole was abetted by much superior planning, whereas errors by Scott (notably including the reliance on man-hauling instead of sled dogs) ultimately resulted in the death of Scott and his companions.

Huntford's other books include Sea of Darkness, The Sayings of Henrik Ibsen and Two Planks and a Passion: The dramatic history of skiing. His polemical The New Totalitarians is a critique of socialism in Sweden, written from the point of view of western political culture. His main thesis was that the Swedish social democratic party, like the "new totalitarians" in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, relied less upon the violence and intimidation of the old totalitarians than upon sly persuasion and soft manipulation in order to achieve its goals.[1]


  • A Cultural History of Snow[2]
  • The Last Place on Earth [3]
  • The New Totalitarians[4]
  • The Shackleton Voyages[5]


  1. ^ Marklund, Carl (2009). "Hot Love and Cold People. Sexual Liberalism as Political Escapism in Radical Sweden". NORDEUROPAforum. 19 (1): 83–101.
  2. ^ "A Cultural History of Snow by Roland Huntford (Bloomsbury)".
  3. ^ "The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration)".
  4. ^ "The New Totalitarians".
  5. ^ "The Shackleton Voyages".