True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2005 - History - 331 pages
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In 1909, two men laid rival claims to this crown jewel of exploration. A century later, the battle rages still. This book is about one of the most enduring and vitriolic feuds in the history of exploration. "What a consummate cur he is," said Robert Peary of Frederick Cook in 1911. Cook responded, "Peary has stooped to every crime from rape to murder." They had started out as friends and shipmates, with Cook, a doctor, accompanying Peary, a civil engineer, on an expedition to northern Greenland in 1891. Peary's leg was shattered in an accident, and without Cook's care he might never have walked again. But by the summer of 1909, all the goodwill was gone. Peary said he had reached the Pole in September 1909; Cook scooped him, presenting evidence that he had gotten there in 1908. Bruce Henderson makes a wonderful narrative out of the claims and counterclaims, and he introduces fascinating scientific and psychological evidence to put the appalling details of polar travel in a new context.
 

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True north: Peary, Cook, and the race to the Pole

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In 1909, within weeks of each other, Dr. Frederick Cook and Rear Admiral Richard Peary each claimed to have been the first man to reach the North Pole, and a vitriolic controversy erupted. This ... Read full review

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This is a great book for those who like armchair exploration. It sums up why there was a controversy regarding the actual discovery of the North Pole. There is plenty of historical data as well as anecdotal evidence. The author seemed to be a Cook proponent. Either the evidence was so overwhelming that the book developed this way, or the author had a vested interest. Regardless there is enough factual evidence to have swayed me into believing that Cook actually discovered the Pole.  

Contents

Authors Note
11
Prologue
17
Call of the Northland
29
North Greenland Expedition
42
Arctic Tenderfoots
50
Death on a Glacier
68
Ruled with an Iron Hand
78
The Snow Baby
89
Farthest North
156
A Crazy Hunger
173
I Shall Win This Time
185
Polar Quest
194
Forward March
206
I Have Reached the Pole
224
Nailed to the Pole
244
Seized by a Heartsickness
261

Polar Summer Resort
101
Bounty Hunting
109
Destination Antarctica
116
The Ice Man
133
Roof of the Continent
143
Aftermath
272
Source Notes
297
Bibliography
315
Index
319
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Bruce Henderson is the author and coauthor of many nonfiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell. He lives in Santa Rosa, California.

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