The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic In 1925, a diphtheria epidemic hit icebound Nome, Alaska, killing several children and threatening the entire population. Stranded without the proper serum, the residents of… The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic In 1925, a diphtheria epidemic hit icebound Nome, Alaska, killing several children and threatening the entire population. Stranded without the proper serum, the residents of… Nonfiction
Book Review

THE CRUELEST MILES (2014)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Writers: Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury; Genre: Nonfiction

In 1925, a diphtheria epidemic hit icebound Nome, Alaska, killing several children and threatening the entire population. Stranded without the proper serum, the residents of the former gold-rush settlement sat under quarantine while, for five days, some 20 dogsledders made a treacherous 674-mile relay to deliver a fragile shipment of antitoxin. The drama captured the American imagination--songs and poems celebrated the event, while newspapers breathlessly followed the race--but has since been relegated to children's-book tales of unlikely lead dog Balto. Here, the first-cousin authors vividly resurrect the mushers' humanitarian feat in a scrupulously researched, cleanly written account that makes for a rollicking good adventure.

Originally posted Jun 13, 2003 Published in issue #714 Jun 13, 2003 Order article reprints
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