Dead Reckoning still sailing with Franklin

With Flight of the
roaring along nicely (thank you very much), it’s wonderful
to see an Alaska publication (Stock Daily Dish) giving Dead Reckoning a bit
of love – doing its part to keep the paperback edition thriving here and here and in better independent bookstores. Yesterday, the newspaper published an article in which its regular reviewers look back over their favorite books of 2018. For David James, Dead Reckoning
was one of two top picks. Here is what he wrote:

Looking back on
the books I reviewed for 2018, I find that all five of my favorites concern
history. This year there’s a two-way tie for the top spot, while the other
three fall in no particular order. . . .

Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage, by Ken McGoogan;
HarperCollins Canada/Patrick Crean Editions.

overview of the search for the Northwest Passage is both wonderfully written
and an excellent resource for fitting the Franklin Expedition, the Arctic’s
most deadly calamity, into its broader historical and cultural perspective.
Canadian historian Ken McGoogan has written several in-depth works on people
who made their mark on the Arctic, but here he takes the long view, showing how
explorers (most of them British) fared in the north from the 16th through the
19th centuries.

The result of
decades of research, McGoogan examines who succeeded, who failed, and why. His
persistent finding is that those Europeans and Brits who learned from the Inuit
residents of the Arctic and followed their examples generally thrived, while
those who dismissed Native knowledge often met extreme hardship or death.

the mind of Sir John Franklin, who left England with two ships in 1845, the
Native people were savages and only British technology and know-how could
conquer the far north. Instead, he and his 128 crewmen all vanished, leading to
searches that found only a handful of corpses and, until they were located in
this decade, no sign of their ships.

McGoogan shows, even among the many expeditions that went searching for the
men, the shortest path to tragedy was found by ignoring the locals.

Here a link to the complete article.

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