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The cruelest miles : the heroic story of dogs and men in a race against an epide
Salisbury, Gay.
Adult Nonfiction RA644.D6 S25 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"No one understands Alaska. [Officials in Washington] wire me to step over to Nome to look up a little matter, not realizing that it takes me 11 days to get there." That's the state's governor, Scott Bone, in 1922, three years before the distant, former Gold Rush outpost would need help combating an incipient diphtheria epidemic. As the Salisbury cousins amply demonstrate, upstate Alaska during winter was about as alien and forbidding as the moon-total isolation, endless night, bizarre acoustics, unreliably frozen rivers, and 60-below temperatures eventually causing both body and mind to shut down altogether. Under these circumstances, the 674-mile dogsled journey required to bring Nome the desperately needed serum seemed destined to fail, to put it mildly. The authors rightly frame the undertaking as the last gasp of an ancient technology before the impending arrival of air and road travel. As soon as news of the situation reached the "lower 48," it instantly became headline fodder for weeks. The book demonstrates the remarkable intimacy mushers develop with their lead dogs-only a handful of sled dogs have the character, courage, intelligence and will to be the lead dog. Especially heroic were renowned musher Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog, Balto, who undertook the treacherous and long final leg; the dog is immortalized by a statue in New York City's Central Park. The journey itself occupies the second half of the book; the authors judiciously flesh out the story with fascinating background information about Nome, the Gold Rush, dogsledding and Alaska. This is an elegantly written book, inspiring tremendous respect for the hardy mushers and their canine partners. (June 9) Forecast: Similar in tone and pull to tales like Seabiscuit or In the Heart of the Sea, this book has the potential to become a considerable seller, helped along by print ads, and author tour and media interviews. And who won't want to read a stirring tale of kids in peril and noble dogs? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Cousins Gay and Laney-a former associate publisher of Basic Books and a journalist-join forces to tell the stirring story of how a few heroic dogs and their drivers delivered lifesaving serum to Nome, AK, over 700 very frigid miles. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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