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Autobiographers tend to look fondly on all they report about themselves, go on at greater length over their earliest years than is necessary and often become repetitive through the overuse of the little-did-I-know-then device of first forecasting and then detailing events. That's why they ought to be edited and McCracken apparently wasn't, or at least not enough. He's an early Alaska explorer, he shot one of the biggest grizzly bears ever recorded, went back to film one of the first motion pictures taken of these beasts, became the aerial stunt photographer of the Pathe newsreel service, mounted scientific and exploratory expeditions to Alaska and collected outstanding examples of Eskimo artifacts, wrote some long-lived juvenile nature books, and researched outstanding editions of the works of Remington and Caitlin. It all started back in 1913, when he quit high school and began a steady career of adventurous achievement. His likability comes through and he's well-known to the Field and Stream readers who are less likely to fuss over his mushing through words (i.e., he doesn't ""write"" he ""authors""). He's the man who clipped out the over ten seconds of film that might have given Firpo Dempsey's title and he believes that Amelia Earhart's plane went down because of faulty equipment accepted for promotion by her husband, with whom he worked--and he has a few other small sharp surprises buried here. A likable roughnecking gentleman, a regional readership.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday