Few people would want to test their mettle in an ice-encrusted boat with an Arctic explorer, sail the Straits of Magellan with Joshua Slocum, or watch with Owen Chase as an angry whale sends his ship to the bottom, thousands of miles from the nearest land. But it's quite another thing to read these true accounts while settled into a favorite chair. Slocum and Chase persevered in the face of travails that would have given Job pause. Their stoic accounts are stronger and more dramatic for their total lack of affection, their frankness, and their lack of ego. Their gripping stories are custom-made for the imaginative reader who seeks adventure in a more controlled environment, safe and warm, and well fed - civilized readers with their armchairs anchored firmly to the living room floor. Rich in drama and history, here are stories that will entertain, inform, and inspire--enduring stories that have attracted generations of readers.