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Item #: PL104-239
THE NOOSE OF LAURELS: ROBERT E. PEARY AND THE RACE TO THE NORTH POLE Wally Herbert 1989 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Herbert, Wally
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New York, 1989, 1st edition. 395 pp, b/w photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine.

Wally Herbert has presented a very thoroughly researched and documented book on the Peary/Cook race to the North Pole concluding that Cook flat out lied about arriving at the Pole (that's easy to correctly conclude) and Peary carelessly missed it by numerous navigational errors.
 
This is a tale that can seemingly never be put to rest. Sir Wally Herbert is well qualified to research and write such a book as he himself dog sledded from Barrow Alaska, over the North Pole and back below the Arctic Circle to Spitzenberg in 1969. The author was very even handed about his research and his fair presentation of the facts as he could best interpret them. I think however, Wally Herbert mistakenly concludes that Peary missed the Pole and presumably 'lied' about achieving his goal of being the first to arrive at the North Pole.
 
After I read Herbert's book I took the opportunity to re-read a 1990 National Geographic article entitled 'New Evidence Places Peary at the Pole'. In the article an independent body of geographic, photographic and navigational experts from the Navigation Foundation of Rockville, MD were presented with all of the navigational details of Peary's diary notations, his photographs, ocean depth soundings and preserved navigational equipment.
 
The article makes a very convincing and cogent presentation that Peary's photographs (the angle and extent of shadows within the exposures) when measured photogrammetrically present unalterable proof that the photos were taken with five miles of the pole. Further the ocean depth sounding results taken on the way to the pole by Peary are currently consistent with what we now know about the actual depth of the Arctic Ocean along the meridian traveled by the Peary Expedition. Although National Geographic and the Navigation Foundation have in my opinion substantiated Peary's success in attaining the pole this is no discredit to Herbert's well written book that should be read by anyone interested in polar and arctic history. - Reviewer: Michael J. Muller Adirondack Reader
 


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