- Taschenbuch: 260 Seiten
- Verlag: Wiley; Auflage: Reprint (7. März 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0471404209
- ISBN-13: 978-0471404200
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,3 x 1,6 x 23,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 15 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 519.470 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Polar Expedition (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. März 2001
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By the mid-19th century, after decades of polar exploration, the fabled Northwest Passage seemed within reach. In 1845 the British Admiralty assembled the largest expedition yet, refitting two ships with steam engines and placing the seasoned if somewhat lackluster Sir John Franklin in command of the 128-man expedition. After sailing into Baffin Bay, they were never heard from again.
Drawing on early accounts from relief expeditions as well as recent archeological evidence, Scott Cookman reconstructs a chronicle of the expedition in Ice Blink. Cookman, a journalist with articles in Field & Stream and other magazines, excels when firmly grounded in the harrowing reality of 19th-century Arctic exploration. When he speculates about what happened to the Franklin expedition, however, he is on less solid ground and his writing suffers.
Particularly overwrought is the promised "frightening new explanation" for the expedition's demise. Cookman suggests that it was caused by the "grotesque handiwork" of an "evil" man, Stephan Goldner, who had supplied its canned foods. This is hardly new. As early as 1852, investigators determined that the expedition's canned goods were probably inferior and canceled provisioning contracts with Goldner. How a hundred men survived for nearly three years despite lead poisoning and botulism remains a mystery. In the end, as Cookman himself acknowledges, the expedition was ultimately doomed by its reliance on untested technology such as the steam engine, armor plating, and canned provisions. These criticisms aside, Ice Blink is an interesting narrative of this enduring symbol of polar exploration and disaster. --Pete Holloran --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Gebundene Ausgabe.
"A great Victorian adventure story rediscovered and re-presented for a more enquiring time." (The Scotsman, 26th August 2000) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Gebundene Ausgabe.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
If you have read "Endurance", "In the Heart of the Sea", or other factual books on exploration you may get annoyed by frequent references to other expeditions and tragic voyages. If you are new to the genre then you will find that the author does a wonderful job at building his case through comparative research.
Aside from that, the book has done for my home canning what the movie Jaws did for swimming on the Cape.
Ice Blink is about mismanagement, oversights, government foibles, prejudice and incompetence. The lessons of the Sir John Franklin's Expedition in 1845 are still sadly relevant. The same problems that doomed those men in the far North are around today. Governments and corporations often award contracts to the lowest bidder, prejudice means the right people do not get hired, top heavy management creates inefficiencies and over reliance on technology obscures common sense.
The lowest bidding manufacturer, Stephen Godner's Canned Food, was the exclusive supplier of canned food for the expedition. No one in the navy bothered to check the filthy conditions at this factory. The canned food arrived just a few hours before the launch, avoiding close inspection. Sir John Barrow, Second Secretary of the Admiralty, hired men of English birth and Anglican faith for the expedition, and dismissed ten experienced Scottish Seamen. One officer was in charge of four men.
Admiral Barrow and Captain Franklin believed in the latest machinery. Ships, scientific knowledge and canned food would lead them to victory. There were no hunters on board or native guides used. Despite all this, Ice Blink is also about the bravery, loyalty and resourcefulness of the men who served on the expedition. They did everything they could to survive and to help each other.
Scott Cookman brings alive the times that made this expedition possible. He probes into the mindset of the men who cleaned the decks, fixed the sails, shoveled the coal, polished the silver, cooked the meals and attended the sick. He also probes into the motives of Captain Franklin, his officers and Admiral Barrow, and puts the events in context. His details of life in the British navy, the medical profession, class dynamics and ship building of over a hundred and fifty years ago draw the reader into that world. The author's painstaking research has paid off in a griping non-fiction book that often reads like a novel. Cookman compares the expeditions to explore the last frontiers on earth to the current space missions. Going across the North-West Passage was similar to going to the Moon. It was as remote and uncharted.
Every one involved with the manned mission to Mars should read this book. It is a `what not to do' when organizing and preparing for an ambitious venture.
The Charlotte Austin Review
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