At a time when books of Polar exploration are appearing in surprising numbers, this volume attempts to state the case for Dr. Fred Cook, the Brooklyn physician whose claim that he reached the North Pole before Peary in 1908 brought calamity down on his head. But although Peary has always been given official credit for the feat, there are those who still give Cook the benefit of the doubt. The book explains in some detail how Cook first joined Peary for an expedition at the turn of the century, and how he later termed Peary an ""envious"" man. Cook's own book Through the First Antarctic Night established him as an Arctic explorer in his own right, but this did little to substantiate his 1908 claim. Newspapers derided him, explorers' clubs attacked him, and finally he abandoned Arctic exploration altogether. How he wound up---imprisoned on oil fraud charges in 1923---only seemed to substantiate the charges against him. Although this book does much to explain him, and does give further credence to Cook's story, it still does not prove who reached the Pole first. Factual, but rather dull.