The Case for Doctor Cook: Freeman, Andrew A
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The Case for Doctor Cook

Author(s): Freeman, Andrew A

Copyright: 1961, Coward-McCann, NY
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.315, map, dark blue cloth
Condition: dj chipped top/bottom spine, edge wear, clipped, good+, cloth tight, vg+

A scoop such as newspapermen seldom see appeared in the New York Herald of September 2, 1909. Extending across page one in three lines of towering type was the story that Dr. Frederick A. Cook, a Brooklyn physician, had reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908. Five days after that story appeared, another astonishing piece of news came out of the North. Robert E. Peary, a civil engineer in the U.S. Navy, had also got to the North Pole, having been there on April 6, 1909, one year after Cook.

Peary was the better-known explorer. He had been in search of the Pole for nearly 18 years, supporting his expeditions through large sums raised by contributions of America’s most influential business and political leaders, scientific and geographic societies, and other respected persons and organizations. Peary had tried and failed so many times that he had developed the belief that fate had chosen him to be the first man to stand at the top of the world. His dedication was so intense he regarded the Far North as his personal domain and explorers who entered it trespassers. Thus, when he returned in 1909 and found that Cook had been at the Pole before him, he charged that his rival’s claim was fraudulent.

Previous to his attainment of the Pole, Cook had been on four expeditions to the Arctic and one to the Antarctic. On each he demonstrated unusual ability as an explorer. Roald Amundsen, a member of the Antarctic expedition, attributed its survival to Cook. In fact, Cook’s reputation as a physician, as an explorer, or as a man had never been assailed until Peary accused him of fabricating the story of his North Pole exploit. One of many books on the Cook/Peary controversy.

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