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New edition of the lost polar notebook published

Written on May 30, 2018

After a number of minor revisions since it was first published in 2013, a second edition of The Lost Polar Notebook of Dr. Frederick A. Cook is now available on Amazon. The book has been corrected and revised, with the most substantial revision coming to the section dealing with the attempt to reach “Crocker Land” by Donald MacMillan in 1914. This was prompted by the original research of Dr. David Welky, who made some inquiries of me during the writing of his book on the Crocker Land Expedition, and who shared the pertinent parts of MacMillan’s original diary that he read at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as part of his research. My original account was based on a handwritten copy of MacMillan’s “field diary” that I studied in 1991 at the library of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, while researching my own book, Cook and Peary, the Polar Controversy, Resolved. I took the Bowdoin diary, which was hand-written, for the original, but it was not, and there were significant differences between the Bowdoin and American Museum versions which tended to set up an alibi for Peary’s original 1906 claim to the discovery of a land that did not exist (see the News post for August 1, 2014 below). Because some of the differences were not made clear in Dr. Welky’s otherwise excellent book, A Wretched and Precarious Situation, published by Norton in 2017, I felt a revision stating the mileages MacMillan actually covered, as indicated by his entries in the original diary, as opposed to those reported in the Bowdoin version and his later published narrative was in order. Other changes and revisions to the new edition include the introduction of more and better illustrations and a detailed Picture Sources and Credits section. In the process of a full and careful reading, a number of typographical and computer formatting errors introduced into the book during file conversion for publication were addressed and corrected. However, at least two of these errors remain, as the publisher was unable to remedy them. Page 176 is numbered “152,” and extra characters have been introduced on page 168. It is hoped the reader will overlook these until a remedy can be found to printing them as submitted.

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