The Big Nail: The Story of the Cook-Peary Feud: Wright, Theon
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The Big Nail: The Story of the Cook-Peary Feud

Author(s): Wright, Theon

Copyright: 1970, Day, NY
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xi, 368, 7 bw photos, 6 maps, appendix, white cloth
Condition: dj rubbed, small tear bottom spine, unclipped, vg, cloth tight, fine

On September 1, 1909, Dr. Frederick Cook signaled the world that he had reached the North Pole. Only five days later, Robert E. Peary sent a message from the north that he had attained the Pole. Then on September 8th Peary said in a telegram to the New York Times that “Cook’s story should not be taken too seriously.”

The greatest dispute in the history of exploration had begun, a dispute which was to see: a bitter editorial war between the nation’s two greatest newspapers; the onslaught of one of the first covert propaganda blitzes in the US (on behalf of Peary); an incredible journalistic deception brought off against the naïve Cook; and a congressional investigation that was officially suppressed! – but despite all of this turmoil the controversy has remained alive until the present.

Wright not only recounts the almost unbelievable events surrounding the Coo-Peary feud, but probes the question of which of the two men probably did make the Pole – if either. The book’s revelations and conclusions ought to make us a good deal less confident in our maps and encyclopedia.

An exciting and suspenseful story of strong-willed men and large events. Wright’s portrayal of the contrasting characters of the two antagonists gives the book the dimension of a novel, with an outcome that is an ironic comment on the fate of the heroic individual in modern society.

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