No-one who reads this book will view Charles Sturt or Australian exploration in the same light again. Rudolph draws the reader into Sturt¿s 1844 expedition thrusting towards the Red Centre by quoting freely from eyewitness accounts. You ride into the fierce, blazing deserts with them, feel what they felt and picture what they saw. The author highlights important details missed by other writers. Rudolph gives an empathetic account of the men, one that appreciates their courage and achievements, while not glossing over their weaknesses. It is a readable book for all Australians: the man or woman in the street, in the bush and on properties. Sturt emerges as a strong leader with lightning moods, but whose expertise in making the Big Decisions was extraordinary. Sturt¿s openness to intuition at moments of crisis is unexpected, while his shortcomings on the level of mundane daily planning is disappointing.This epic of the human spirit is inspirational.