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

By Gay Salisbury

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ohshweet
Fabulous book. A must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
barry doughty
Great read about the true history. Have recommended it to everyone I talk to.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jessi
Great insight and history of the early years of Alaska. Definitely would recommend as a good read--especially if you are an Alaska/Iditarod fan!
Henry Huggins :: and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway - Thirty Thousand Dogs :: A Man of His Own :: The Man Who Loved Dogs: A Novel :: Wreck This Box Boxed Set
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
emilymth
Great read for a history of Alaska in the early 1900s. Author did a good job at fleshing out the characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
loopy
If you like history, dogs and adventure this is a must ready
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jerry
This is a good read and as I said in the title of the review...if you love dogs you will love this book. Our dog got a ton of pets and hugs when I was reading this true well researched story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shelley fletcher
A very in depth look at the early years of sled dogs as well as the courage of the people who used and needed their service.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
colton
This was a very interesting book. It was neat to read about how several men and their dogs gave of themselves to save the small town of Nome during a the diphtheria epidemic in1925 and how they were celebrated for their selfless acts.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
msbrie
A detailed account of an amazing piece of history. Salisbury writes in a captivating way about human (and dog) perseverance..
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
james falcetti
interesting read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tree
great
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zahie
Excellent book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nick donald
This is a great read that holds your in attention. The many side journeys into details adds background to the events in a way that I have seen few books do.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeremy sherlock
Great read - full of interesting history.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steve markes
Very interesting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
prathap
It was a very true to life account of dog sled racing and the Alaska wilderness. I have raced that trail in snowmobiles and it can be very dangerous. I couldn't put the book down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
slinkyboy
Wonderful story of history and person determination to help others.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ron sullivan
Great read. One of those books that I just couldn't put down!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
candyrae meadows
This is a story that will make you proud to be an American. It's an inspiring saga about the courage and caring of people who lived under very difficult conditions, and the animals who shared their lives.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessie winitzky
This is a very well written book about the Iditarod race, how it all started. I am still currently reading it, but am enjoying learning about all the history.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
judy trujillo
Few today can manage this account of an era past but not forgotten. Self sacrificing love. Thanks Gay and Laney.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
becca reissman
well written account--I was in Nome at the time of the diptheria serum run--Gay and cousin wrote a splendid account and also their dissertation re the eskimo was extremely informative and well acounted!!! Jean Summers Wolf
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bhavesh
A story of bravery, courage and determination and a heart for mankind. It was absolutely spellbinding. What a wonderful heart some men have to aid a striken community in spite of indeterminable odds, overcoming nature at it's worst. to complete a mission and aid a struggling community.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
komatsu joon
This book has you at the first page, keep reading and the history lessons are amazing. Think i might have to read it again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dan leo
All dog lovers should read it. Great buy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zane akers
Delivered as promised. Good condition.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
joangee
Great book for dog lovers and history buffs. All the dogs and drivers should be honored. I couldn't put it down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
linda sudlesky
A great book about true-life heroes. Written well enough to regret reaching the last page! This book is going on my gift list for others to enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mariexlupin
Very interesting, well researched, well written and brings the whole experience to life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
danusia
It is a fascinating story every one should read.

I love the Arctic winter and love to read about it
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kevin ryan
Well written book about the race to bring medication to Nome during a diphtheria epidemic. Includes explanation of the history of the sled dog and those men who risked everything to save lives.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elizabeth holter
Fascinating and so touching! I could not believe I was so ignorant about this piece of history. Bravo and Thank You to the authors!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sheona hurd
If you like history and/or dogs you will enjoy this book. Children enjoy books about Balto and this is the real thing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maureen hanlon
Never heard of this before. Interesting history. A must for dog lovers. Also, a enlightening story of Alaska's early history in the American experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah lina
I love historic fiction, and this one is great because it really shows the fight the men and the dogs endured to get the medicine there in time. True life is always better than Hollywood...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gregg headrick
I bought this item through the store UK and had it sent to my son-in-law in Boston USA. It arrived on time and in good nick. Thanks JD
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan lynch
Book arrived in stated condition and quickly, no problems.

Haven't read yet but everything was fine. Would order again from this company.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
michael mcdaniel
What a disappointment! I was so anxious to read this book because the subtitle said it was "The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic." But I'm afraid the subtitle was like a promise not kept. That is, while this book did include this information, it just seemed to be slipped in here and there with a whole bunch of other stuff. The writing went all over the place. I only finished the book because I kept thinking I'd get to the part that really does tell the heroic story of dogs and men in a race against an epdemic."
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tizire
Learned alot about dog sledding and airplanes in the hostile environment of Alaska. But I think the writing could have been better--make the story more exiciting so I could fell like I needed to turn the pages more quickly.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
anne girl
If this book was half as long, it would be twice as good, and would be rated accordingly.

The book was well-researched and has many positive aspects, such as:

1) The historical background of Nome itself provides worthwhile context to the diphtheria emergency.

2) The little-known effort to provide an aerial solution to Nome's needs is interesting and relevant.

3) The personal histories of individuals, both before and after the crisis, add greatly to the value of the book.

4) The role of Gunnar Kaasen is of particular interest.

Like the other mushers, he had the willingness and courage to participate in the sled dog relays. Unlike the other mushers, he made every effort to exclude other teams and to claim the final glory for himself.

The book repeatedly tells of Alaskan drivers being saved by their lead dogs even when humans were hopelessly lost and confused. It is hard to believe that Kaasen simply overshot the first roadhouse where he was to transfer the serum to another driver. The dogs knew where the roadhouse was.

Equally thin is Kaasen's explanation for consciously bypassing the last roadhouse and relay driver before Nome.

Kaasen wanted the glory for himself.

The loyalty of Kaasen's dog team was poorly reciprocated. Kaasen said of Balto, "Damn fine dog" and "If it wasn't for Balto, I wouldn't be alive today." Yet after the serum run, Kaasen sold his team, including Balto, to stateside interests including vaudeville acts. It remained for a Cleveland businessman to rescue the surviving dogs from a miserable existence. Kaasen apparently never looked back.

The book was weighed down by factors such as:

1) An abundance of scarcely relevant material, randomly dumped in globs, interrupting the main storyline.

An anthropological comparison of Athabaskan Indians and Eskimos may be quite appropriate for a different text, but for this book the material is tangential at best. And a reader interested in the serum run has little need to know about attempts to introduce reindeer into Alaska.

2) The book relies on barely credible details of each driver's travails along the trail.

These men were mushers, not novelists or historians, and they had their hands full just keeping alive. There was no time to record each snowdrift, wind gust, precipice, or overflow along the way. Since the drivers seem to have been men of few words, written or spoken, and since the authors had no opportunity to interview any of the drivers, much of the detail seems to have been manufactured in the interests of a good story.

3) A very minor, but jarring, comment caught my eye when the authors were discussing Eskimo kayaks. There is a reference to a kayak's "mouth." After more than 50 years of paddling everywhere from Guatemala to Hudson Bay, I have yet to hear anyone refer to a kayak's cockpit in this manner. Perhaps I need to get around more?

Net: The authors seem determined to make a full-sized book out of what could more usefully be a longish magazine article or a slimmer volume. The book suffers as a result.
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