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.
About the Author
Ken McGoogan, former literary editor of The Calgary Herald, is the author of the novels Kerouac's Ghosts and Chasing Sofiya. He won the Drainie Taylor Biography Prize and The CAA Lela Common Award for Canadian History for Fatal Passage. In researching Fatal Passage, McGoogan traveled to England, Scotland, and the Arctic, where in 1999 he erected a plaque commemorating John Rae's accomplishments. McGoogan lives in Calgary, Alberta.