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North Pole Legacy: Black, White, and Eskimo

North Pole Legacy: Black, White, and Eskimo

by S. Allen Counter

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1986 the author, a neuroscience professor at Harvard, went to northern Greenland to conduct a study of ear disease in Eskimos as well as to interview them about early American explorations in that area. And he had yet another goal: black himself, Counter had long admired black explorer Matthew Henson, who accompanied Robert Peary to the Pole. Familiar with rumors that each had fathered children in Greenland, the author traced ``dark-skinned'' Eskimos to two remote settlements, where he found Anaukaq Henson and Kali Peary, octogenarians who had never met their American relatives. Counter, who subsequently arranged a three-month trip to the U.S. for both men, here offers a charming account of their meetings with kinfolk in Massachusetts, New York and Maine, visits to their fathers' gravesites--Henson's in Brooklyn, N.Y., Peary's in Arlington, Va.--and tours of national monuments. The book, an intriguing postscript to polar exploration, also examines the Peary-Henson collaboration and supports the claim that they indeed reached the Pole. Photos. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Counter, a Harvard professor, recounts how he located the half-Eskimo octogenarian sons of polar explorers Matthew Henson and Robert Peary and, after many difficulties, helped them to achieve their lifetime dream of visiting the United States to meet their American relatives and view their fathers' graves. Counter also tells how he succeeded in getting official recognition for fellow African American Henson's indispensable role in Peary's Arctic explorations. This is a fascinating, well-told story. Though the Peary saga has been recounted often, the human interest component added here will give the book an appeal beyond the usual polar adventure readership. This is recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Jonathan F. Husband, Framing ham State Coll. Lib., Mass.
Focusing on the problems inherent in the management of the oceans, contributions examine potential for conflict and cooperation in ocean affairs between and among the developed and developing states. Counter traveled a thousand miles beyond the Arctic Circle in Greenland to find the progeny of Matthew Henson and Robert Peary, the famed Arctic explorers. Once found, he arranged for the octogenarian sons and their families to visit America and relatives they'd never before seen. Woven into his narrative is the history of Henson and Peary's explorations and the controversy over their claim to have been the first people to reach the North Pole. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
1140L (what's this?)

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