The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic

The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic

4.4 20
by Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0393325709

ISBN-13: 9780393325706

Pub. Date: 02/07/2005

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

"A stirring tale of survival, thanks to man's best friend . . . reflects a transcendent understanding and impeccable research."—Seattle Times
When a deadly diphtheria epidemic swept through Nome, Alaska, in 1925, the local doctor knew that without a fresh batch of antitoxin, his patients would die. The lifesaving serum was a thousand miles away, the port was

Overview

"A stirring tale of survival, thanks to man's best friend . . . reflects a transcendent understanding and impeccable research."—Seattle Times
When a deadly diphtheria epidemic swept through Nome, Alaska, in 1925, the local doctor knew that without a fresh batch of antitoxin, his patients would die. The lifesaving serum was a thousand miles away, the port was icebound, and planes couldn't fly in blizzard conditions—only the dogs could make it. The heroic dash of dog teams across the Alaskan wilderness to Nome inspired the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and immortalized Balto, the lead dog of the last team whose bronze statue still stands in New York City's Central Park.This is the greatest dog story, never fully told until now.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393325706
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/07/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
303
Sales rank:
232,055
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.82(d)

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The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I work at a university and this book was selected for a program that I am helping to plan. I decided to read the book so that I would be able to help participants decide if the want to participate in this program. The book was so fun to read and very informative. I loved all of the background information that the authors gave us to help us understand the differences between life now and life in Nome in the 1920. Very good historical information as well. I learned so much more than I expected to with simple "work reading" and I can't wait to talk to the participants of my program and see how they liked the book I picked!
Grannie-Reader More than 1 year ago
I liked this a LOT! In a way it was almost two stories; the geoloic and social development of Alaska and the story of the epidemic and the people who responded to it. It was well written and a vivid portrayal of the area and especially the heartfelt, loving response of the citizens of Alaska to save those affected by the illness. Man and dog pushed themselves beyond 100% and the result was the ending of the epidemic. It was interesting to hear of the relationships between the musher(s) and his/their team(s). Having visited Nome, the depiction of the city and surrounding area were real and a great reminder of the harshness of the climate & the difficulties that arise. I would highly recommend this for anyone interested in history/geography/and just a generally good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Novel_One More than 1 year ago
This account of the heroic efforts of men and their dog teams to save an Alaskan town from an epidemic is truly amazing. It starts out a little slowly with background information, but like a cartoon snowball going downhill, it soon gathers speed and urgency. I read a copy from my library, but bought it myself because I knew I would want to read it again. Don't miss this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A girl in my running club was watching me run with my dog and commented that he had 'lead dog mentality' and recommended this book. I bought it, and it collected dust for six months before I picked it up. Once I started, I was drawn into Nome and hated putting the book down. The book illustrates life in Nome- what were people's daily lives like. What challenges they faced and how they spent their recreation time. Alaska's local, regional and state politics were explained, as well as Alaska's relationship to the federal government. Then of course, there's the image of isolated, rural life as it was poised for dramatic changes through modern technology. That alone would make it an interesting, 3 star book. Then the authors included the dogs and their drivers. Their anecdotes were sometimes delightful and charming a few were awe-inspiring and several were heartbreaking. Their heroic acts made this book a memorable read. I live in Alaska, and immediately lent the book to a girlfriend who loved it as much as I did. She pointed out how many people we knew that had come from the towns and villages mentioned in the book, making it even more meaningful for us. If you're interested in Alaska or dogs this would be a great read for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book as much as any I have read in years. The story is set up very well so the reader has a great understanding of the terrain faced by the mushers and dogs, and the predicament faced by Nome. The description of the scene when 'Wild Bill' pushed off on the first leg of the run in the middle of the night with a temperature at fifty below zero gave me chills. A great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fast-paced race against time. An informative and historical glimpse at Alaska's 'dark side of the moon' accompanied by man's very best friend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Saliburys have done an excellent job of putting the serum run in context. Anyone who has actually *read* the book without a prior bias will know exactly why other methods were not risked. At that time, dog sleds in Alaska were the standard transportation. There wasn't much alternative. No other mode of transportation combined reliability and efficiency in the same way. And if you want to check the sequence of events, you can always check microfilm records of the major newspapers of the time. I seriously doubt that the vaccine manufacturers needed to stage that sort of event. It would have redounded upon their ability to provide the vaccine as needed. This book is an excellent read and gives a real appreciation of the toughness and rigors of the Alaskan frontier.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being an admirer and owner of 2 Siberian Huskies attracted me to this book and I got a lot more than I bargained for. The well written history of the dogs, people, and places involved in this true-life drama made me laugh, cry, and shake my head in amazement. When I first started reading I thought 'they should make a movie of this.' But I soon realized that no movie could possibly do justice to the heroic acts and amazing history that lead to this incredible event. This book is a must for anyone who admires the amazing courage and spirit of dogs, (especially Siberian Huskies); or for anyone who wants to be reminded of the self-sacrificing goodness of human nature; or simply wants to know more about the history of Alaska. 'Thank You' to the Salisbury's CM Asheville, NC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some body if they know tell me who baltosither teamates i reallllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy need to know!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks if you havean answer, write your headline as baltopizzamoney$$$$$$! Thankssssss! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jac2848- did not like nook sample
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel easily captures the heart of any reader as its vivid excitement and historical accuracy seamlessly run together. These dogs and men had an unforgettable courage amidst some of the harshest conditions imaginable. The Cruelest Miles is an excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
what an inspiring store. one to tall you children. well written and full of suspense, thrills and uncertainty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 'Vaccination Condemned,' the author (Elben) shares that the Mulford Company (vaccine manufacturer) staged the Balto sled dog promotion to stir up fear and suspense. She writes that the vaccine could have been transported faster and easier, but that would not have been as good PR, and that AFTER the serum was delivered and utilized was when the real epidemic broke out. That is tragedy #1. Tragedy #2 is that dogs suffer terribly and often die pulling sleds. I guess I could add that tragedy #3 is people buy into dramatic stories and don't investigate further behind the scenes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sebastian Junger, author of the 'Pefect Storm' and 'Fire,' summed up the Salisburys' writing perfectly when he said: 'Fortunately, the...writing is as straightforward and honest as the men they are describing.' Gay and Laney found a story--a triumph!--that needed only to be told. The rest has taken excellent care of itself. In a time of war and political slugging, this story's theme takes on even more specialness. How can one turn away the delicious recount of children being saved from sure death during a bullying Winter that made even the Eskimo quake?