With this book—his most ambitious yet—Ken McGoogan delivers a vivid, comprehensive recasting of Arctic-exploration history. Dead Reckoning challenges the conventional narrative, which emerged out of Victorian England and focused almost exclusively on Royal Navy officers. By integrating non-British and fur-trade explorers and, above all, Canada’s indigenous peoples, into the history of Arctic discovery, this work brings the story into the twenty-first century.
Orthodox history celebrates such naval figures as John Franklin, Edward Parry and James Clark Ross. Dead Reckoning tells their stories, but the book also encompasses such forgotten heroes as Thanadelthur, Akaitcho, Tattannoeuck, Ouligbuck, Tookoolito and Ebierbing, to name just a few. Without the assistance of the Inuit, Franklin’s recently discovered ships, Erebus and Terror, would still be lying undiscovered at the bottom of the polar sea.
The book ranges from the sixteenth century to the present day, looks at climate change and the politics of the Northwest Passage, and recognizes the cultural diversity of a centuries-old quest. Informed by the author’s own voyages and researches in the Arctic, and illustrated throughout, Dead Reckoning is a colourful, multi-dimensional saga that demolishes myths, exposes pretenders and celebrates unsung heroes. For international readers, it sets out a new story of Arctic discovery. For Canadians, it brings that story home.
About the author
KEN MCGOOGAN is the best-selling author of a dozen books, among them 50 Canadians Who Changed The World, How The Scots Invented Canada, Fatal Passage and Lady Franklin’s Revenge. He has won the Pierre Berton Award for History, the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography, the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award, the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize and an American Christopher Award for “a work of artistic excellence that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” Before turning mainly to books, Ken worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, and in faraway places as different as Edinburgh, Sydney, Stromness, and Hobart. www.kenmcgoogan.com
Other titles by Ken McGoogan
Flight of the Highlanders
The Making of Canada
How The Scots And The Irish Created A Canadian
50 Canadians Who Changed The World
John Rae's Arctic Correspondence, 1844-1855
The Arctic Journals of John Rae
Lady Franklin's Revenge
A True Story of Ambition, Obsession and the Remaking of Artic History
How The Scots Invented Canada
Race To The Polar Sea
The Heroic Adventures of Elisha Kent Kane
The Untold Story of John Rae, the Artic Explorer Who Discovered the Fate of Franklin
The Amazing Adventures of Samuel Hearne, the Sailor Who Walked to the Arctic Ocean