Icebound: The Jeannette Expedition's Quest for the North Pole

Leonard F. Guttridge, Author
Leonard F. Guttridge, Author US Naval Institute Press $29.95 (357p) ISBN 978-0-87021-330-4
Reviewed on: 06/01/1986
Release date: 06/01/1986
The 1879 expedition began with high hopes of Arctic discoveries; it came to disaster on Siberian shores, and the official investigation that followed was an adroitly managed cover-up. Guttridge, coauthor (with J. D. Smith) of The Commodores, has ferreted out the facts about the Jeannette and the ship's company. Playboy/publisher James Gordon Bennett underwrote the expedition, led by Lt. George W. De Long, USN. The Jeannette was trapped in ice for two years before it broke up; the crew escaped in three boats. One disappeared without a trace, two landed separately on the vast delta of the Lena River, and the men in one boat perished of starvation. Colorful characters abound: the navigation officer incapacitated by syphilis, the marvelously inventive engineer, a famous criminal lawyer hamstrung by collusion among the survivors, a widow determined to protect her late husband's reputation. Guttridge unfolds a gripping story of suspense and adventure. Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)
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