Fatal Passage

Fatal Passage

The Untold Story of John Rae, the Arctic Adventurer Who Discovered the Fate of Franklin

Book - 2002
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John Rae's accomplishments, surpassing all nineteenth-century Arctic explorers, were worthy of honors and international fame. No explorer even approached Rae's prolific record: 1,776 miles surveyed of uncharted territory; 6,555 miles hiked on snowshoes; and 6,700 miles navigated in small boats. Yet, he was denied fair recognition of his discoveries because he dared to utter the truth about the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew, Rae's predecessors in the far north. Author Ken McGoogan vividly narrates the astonishing adventures of Rae, who found the last link to the Northwest Passage and uncovered the grisly truth about the cannibalism of Franklin and his crew. A bitter smear campaign by Franklin's supporters would deny Rae his knighthood and bury him in ignominy for over one hundred and fifty years. Ken McGoogan's passion to secure justice for a true North American hero in this revelatory book produces a completely original and compelling portrait that elevates Rae to his rightful place as one of history's greatest explorers.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002, c2001.
ISBN: 9780786711567
Branch Call Number: 917.1904 MCG
Characteristics: viii, 327 p. : ill. maps, ports. ; 22 cm.


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Nov 24, 2016

Classic shoot the messenger & character assassination story by the rich & powerful (Franklin's widow) on a regular Joe & the Inuits for giving bad news & inadvertently upstaging client by discovering Northwest Passage instead of the deceased.
Clueless former PM Harper reinforced message when he tooted discovery of Franklin's ship in 2014 & ignored true person who discovered final leg of Northwest Passage.
Expensive media event got Canadians to say "so what?" on epic fail Franklin spin doctored by his widow.
Here's a chance for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to set the record straight.

Aug 02, 2016

A fascinating story about an astonishing man who solved two of the greatest mysteries of the 19th century -- the missing link in the Northwest Passage and the true fate of the Franklin Expedition. Rarely within one individual can one find John Rae's combination of wisdom and leadership, along with incredible physical stamina. Besides that, the key to his success was the fact that he was far more open minded than his peers, recognizing immediately that far from being ignorant savages, the Inuit understood the true nature of the Arctic and had brilliantly adapted to survive in that unforgiving environment. Rae and his small band of men were the first Europeans to survive over winter in the Arctic, because Rae emulated the Inuit methods of shelter, food and clothing.
It's also a story of the fate that may befall individuals who tell an inconvenient truth in the face of powerful people who have a vested interest in a different version of reality.
John Rae was surely one of the most outstanding individuals ever to set foot on Canadian soil and if there had been any justice, he would surely be widely known and revered today and would have been showered with honours and knighted in his day. Instead, the establishment in Britain, led by Franklin's widow, did everything in their power to destroy Rae's reputation. Both Robert McClure who abandoned his ice-bound ship and never found a navigable passage, and Sir John Franklin whose entire crew perished in their attempt were credited with having discovered the passage, while John Rae, who correctly identified the true route (as confirmed by Amundsen) was branded a liar and an opportunist.

Nov 18, 2015

A fascinating true story of a virtually unknown hero of Canadian history. Many very interesting details of life in the north in those times.

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