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Coldest Crucible (06 Edition)by Robinson
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
In the late 1800s, "Arctic Fever" swept across the nation as dozens of American expeditions sailed north to the Arctic to find a sea route to Asia and, ultimately, to stand at the North Pole. Few of these missions were successful, and many men lost their lives en route. Yet failure did little to dampen the enthusiasm of new explorers or the crowds at home that cheered them on. Arctic exploration, Michael F. Robinson argues, was an activity that unfolded in America as much as it did in the wintry hinterland. Paying particular attention to the perils facing explorers at home, The Coldest Crucible examines their struggles to build support for the expeditions before departure, defend their claims upon their return, and cast themselves as men worthy of the nation's full attention. In so doing, this book paints a new portrait of polar voyagers, one that removes them from the icy backdrop of the Arctic and sets them within the tempests of American cultural life. With chronological chapters featuring emblematic Arctic explorers — including Elisha Kent Kane, Charles Hall, and Robert Peary—The Coldest Crucible reveals why the North Pole, a region so geographically removed from Americans, became an iconic destination for discovery.
"Robinson's analysis of the role of the press in elevating, and then exploiting, the efforts of explorers, remains compelling, and is really the cornerstone of his book." Russell A. Potter, The Arctic Book Review
Starting with Eliza Kent Kane in 1853 and ending with Robert Peary in 1909, Harnessed to the Pole is a unique study of the nineteenth-century sledge dogs that led American explorers to the North Pole. Almost totally ignored in their exploits, these dogs made possible what never could have occurred otherwise: an American claim on the Pole. Even if we do not know their names, we know that they pulled with all their hearts, even though they were fed little, driven hard, and sometimes left to die along the trail. Often referred to as and#147;little camels of the north,and#8221; these courageous partners provided transportation of people and freight through extremely difficult conditions, protected against wolves and polar bears, helped in the hunt, found their way through storms, and provided warmth in extreme cold, meat in times of starvation, and even skins for clothes. Most importantly, they provided companionship in a hostile world poised on the edge of death and madness. Here is the untold story of these extraordinary dogs, truly man's best but least known friend in the race to reach the Pole.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, an epic race was underway in some of the most brutal stretches on the planet. Explorers from around the world hoped to stake their claim on the Arctic, with the North Pole being the ultimate prize. Those with the greatest success found that the fastest way to travel was on four legsand#151;using a team of hardworking sledge dogs.
Harnessed to the Poleand#160;follows the adventures of eight American explorers and their dog teams, starting with Elisha Kent Kane and ending with Robert Peary, controversial claimant of the title of first to reach the North Pole. While history has long forgotten these and#147;little camels of the north,and#8221; Sheila Nickerson reveals how critical dogs were to the Arctic conquest. Besides providing transportation in extreme conditions, sledge dogs protected against wolves and polar bears, helped in hunting, found their way through storms, and provided warmth in extreme cold. They also faced rough handling, starvation, and the possibility of being left behind as expeditions plunged ahead.and#160;Harnessed to the Poleand#160;is an extraordinaryand#151;and unflinchingand#151;look at the dogs that raced to the top of the world.
About the Author
Michael F. Robinson is assistant professor of history at the University of Hartford.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
Chapter One 15
and#160; Building and Arcitc Traditon
Chapter Two 31
and#160; A Man of Science and Humanity
and#160; Elisha Kent Kane
Chapter Three 55
and#160; An Arctic Divided
and#160; Isaac Hayes and Charles Hall
Chapter Four 83
and#160; Dying Like Men
and#160; Adolphus Greely
Chapter Five 107
and#160; The New Machines
and#160; Walter Wellman and Robert Peary
Chapter Six 133
and#160; Savage Campaigns
and#160; Robert Peary and Frederick Cook
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History and Social Science » Arctic and Antarctic » General