True North: Peary, Cook and the Race to the Pole

  • by Bruce Henderson
  • Narrated by Bruce Henderson
  • 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1909, two men laid rival claims to this crown jewel of exploration. A century later, the battle rages still. This book is about one of the most enduring and vitriolic feuds in the history of exploration. "What a consummate cur he is," said Robert Peary of Frederick Cook in 1911. Cook responded, "Peary has stooped to every crime from rape to murder."
They had started out as friends and shipmates, with Cook, a doctor, accompanying Peary, a civil engineer, on an expedition to northern Greenland in 1891. Peary's leg was shattered in an accident, and without Cook's care he might never have walked again. But by the summer of 1909, all the goodwill was gone. Peary said he had reached the Pole in September 1909; Cook scooped him, presenting evidence that he had gotten there in 1908.
Bruce Henderson makes a wonderful narrative out of the claims and counterclaims, and he introduces fascinating scientific and psychological evidence to put the appalling details of polar travel in a new context.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Who Wears the White Hat?

I have listened to all the "exploration" type books at Audible. My favorite genre without a doubt. From "The River of Doubt" to "Forever on The Mountain" to "Into Thin Air" to many others, "True North" seems to have similarities to the strengths of all of them.

Unlike the race to the South Pole, however, "True North" has no clear cut winners and losers. No Scott and Amundsen.

Scientific advancement take a back seat to "fame" for the true motivation.

Both explorers, Peary and Cook, are flawed heroes. But that is real life, is it not?. You be the judge!

The intensive research is second to none.

By the way, the author as the narrator may not add to the strength of the presentation.

Otherwise it's a great listen. One of my favorites.
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- dal


Where does True North: Peary, Cook and the Race to the Pole rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best I've read/listened to so far.

Have you listened to any of Bruce Henderson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I was not familiar with Bruce Henderson's writings, but now he is among my favorite authors.

Any additional comments?

If you like the history of polar exploration, this is the book for you!. I was skeptical when I saw that the author was also reading the book, but he does a great job, and possibly better than anyone else could have done. Henderson did amazing research and offers great insights into the two explorers, their motivations and mindsets. If you think you've heard it all...about Peary and Cook, think again, and listen to this book!

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- Pattywolford

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-10-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio