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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 26, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta Salurday, September 26, 1970 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 Hook Reviews Turning The Tables On Robert E. Peary By J. "The Big Nail: The Story of llic Cook Peary Feud" by Thcou (John Day Company. dis- tributed by Longmans Can- ada rPHE dispute over who was first to reach the North Pole (The Big Nail to the Es- kimos) was supposedly settled long ago in favor of Comman- der Robert E. Peary. But re- cently the claim of Dr. Fred- crick Cook to this honor has received some championing. In his usual forthright fash- ion, Farley Mowat in his book "The Polar Passion" U9G7) stated that Frederick Cook properly deserves the title of discoverer of the North Pole. He argued that Cook was de- nied the honor as a result of the vilification heaped on him by Peary and "the Establish- ment" that supported The Commander. Almost any dub was good enough to clout Cook over the head with, as Mowat wrote. It became a case of character as- sassination in which all sorts of irrelevancies to the issue of po- lar conquest were introduced. Prior to his assault on the North Pole, Dr. Cook had claimed to be the first to have successfully climbed Mount Me- Kinley. He was accused of being a liar on this account. People who had accompanied him on the climb testified against him and his pictures of the mountain were declared to be fraudulent. The dispute over this seems to be inconclusive. One of the most absurd charges made against Dr. Cook was that he had plagiarized the words of the Rev. Thomas Bridges who as a missionary among the Patagonian Indians had compiled a dictionary of their languages. Dr. Cook brought the dictionary back from his trip to the Antarctica when he was a member of the Belgica expedition. The dic- tionary was prepared for pub- lication by Dr. Cook and the work was properly credited to the missionary. By making Dr. Cook appear to be a liar and a thief it was relatively easy to cast doubt on his claim to have journied to the North Pole- Supposed flaws in his story of his trip were then found to support the im- pression that he was a fraud. One of these was his failure to mention "Crocker Land" which Peary had sighted on one of his previous attempts to reach the Pole. It has subsequently been discovered that Cook did not report sighting it for the very good reason that it existed only in the imagination of Com- mander Peary! The great Canadian explorer Vilhajalmur Stefansson helped to destroy Dr. Cook when in 1916 hs discovered Meighen Is- land wluch he said Cook should .have crossed if he really went where he said he had gone. Ac- tually Cook's own records show that he was not near the island and did not report it as a re- sult. The role played by Stef- ansson in the controversy thus proved to be invidious. A magazine article written by Dr. Cook for Hampton's magazine in 1910 was generally taken to be proof that the ex- plorer could not be taken se- riously. In the article the au- thor appeared to confess that he did not know if he reached the Pole. Years later a proof reader for the magazine testi- fied that the incriminating pas- sages had been introduced into the article by the editor with- out the knowledge of Dr. Cook. What finally seemed to clinch the case against Cook was that in 1923 he was sentenced to 14 years in Leavenworth Peniten- tiary a sentence which Mo- wat described as "positively savage" for promoting fraudulent oil stocks. The judge's remarks clearly indi- cate that Cook was "framed" by the reputation he had ac- quired in the Arctic controver- sy. Those oil stocks later proved to be very valuable. Af- ter serving five years Dr. Cook was paroled and in 1940 he was granted a full pardon by Presi- dent Franklin D. Roosevelt The gang attack against Dr. Cook was of such a nature that in 1930 when parole was being considered, letters of protest from Peary supporters were received by the parole board! And even in 1965 when a reso- lution was passed by the New York State Legislature acknow- ledging Dr. Cook's contribu- tions as an explorer, one of Peary's party circulated a let- ter of protest. That the scientific communi- ty could be distracted from a careful evaluation of the claims of both explorers by what now seems to be a deliberate cam- paign of vilification does little credit to it. And the apparently partisan role of the National Geographic Society lends cre- dence to the charge lhat there was a conspiracy of the Es- tablishment. The purpose of Thcon Wright is to turn tlio tables on Com- mander Peary. He thinks it is only fail' to give a bit of the same medicine that was meted out to Dr. Cook. The end result is that if Peary is not oulright- ly charged with having been a liar about reaching the North Pole, the insinuation is unmis- takable. Proof of fraudulence is not possible but Peary's claim of having reached the Pole can be challenged on a number of points. Perhaps the thing most difficult to accept was the phe- nomenal distances that would have had to be covered to have mode the acliievement possible. After ins last supporting party turned back .he went at least twice as fast as before and considerably faster than far; more experienced slcdgers even though he was handi- capped and had to ride most of the time! There were blanks in his records and he failed to taks latitudinal observations which means that he could nev- er be sure of where he was. Peary was not really an ex- plorer. He was an honors-seek- er. Having had his heart set on being the first to reach the North Pole he was sent into a rage by Cook's claim to have beaten him there. It was an af- front to both Peary and his sponsors that Cook should have done the thing "on the cheap" and "cheated" the man whose destiny it was to conquer that Pole. This is what Wright con- terals in his book. The author has gone to great lengths to establish Uiis picture of Peary. There seem to have been a number of well-estab- lished uncomplimentary things to Peary's credit or discred- it. At least twice he churlishly refused to transport records for other explorers. He seems to have had little regard for people and in one instance was inhuman in his treatment of Eskimos. The obsession Lo be first to the Pole is established on the basis of statements he made but one might wonder if Peary actually intended them to sound quite so egomaniacal. A photograph of Peary in the Arctic used to confirm the grim, determined nature of the man, is not necessarily evi- dence for the case. Arctic ex- ploration was so arduous that anyone engaged in it could be expected to look grim. Whatever else the reader may conclude after examining the material assembled by Wright, he would have to agree that on the basis of the explor- ers' accounts alone there is as much reason to doubt the one as the other. It is possible that a more favorable view of Dr. Cook is beginning to be ac- cepted. He has had his support- ers all along. But when some- one such as Professor L. H. Neatby of tho University of Saskatchewan admits that his position has become a good deal more pro-Cook than when he wrote his book "Conquest of the Last Frontier" this may in- dicate that the shift is under way. An amateur in the- field is not competent to judge whether Wright has justly turned the tables on Robert E. Peary- It can be said that he makes what appears to be a very good cass and docs so in an absorb- ingly interesting book. DOUG WALKER Its Glory Has Gone by Waller Kerber A Guide To Deeper Understanding "The Ozone Minotaur" by Andreas Schrocder. (Sono Nis Tress, University of British Columbia, TN the search for an indivi- dual poetic language, the contemporary poet depends on the experiences of past poets, but like them he must finally cut himself free from the past to find the language appro- priate lo his experience and to his vision. The contemporary poet does not always blindly follow the nco-romantic trend of torturing himself and his reader about language and its meaning. What he more often tries to do is to understand how he can express himself in words and images which most nearly parallel his imaginative vision. It is, therefore, inevit- able that some contemporary poets should write poetry which simultaneously guides us into a deeper understanding of the imaginative act and guides us into a deeper understanding of ourselves. Freud, Jung and the rest of psychology notwith- standing, the poet alone is the final adjudicator in such mat- ters. Such an adjudicator and guide is the young and vilal Canadian poet, Andreas Schroeder, who lets us see deeply into his poetic imagina- tion while he comments on the eternal questions which face mankind. Divided into three the thirty-five poems lead the reader quickly away from tlie outside world of real- ity so much with us to the in- side world of imagination where the important depths are sounded hi our being. Imme- diately in Zone 1, Schroeder tells us he will act as our imaginative guide. If we allow Schroeder to grab our imagina- tive hands, he will guide us to consider our notions time and space; to the poetic act itself; and will in- volve us in the imaginative act; and convince us that now any- thing can happen. If we allow it to happen, Schroeder will draw us into his magic circle of imagination and point the direction in which he is headed in Zone 1. In Zone 2, Schrceder skillfully utilizes the language of paradox within tire framework of the metaphor to slow down and sliow us that we must break through! space- time notions in order to try to find with him that meaningful inner area where self knowl- edge can be gained. This area is where we "hang suspended in the silence of this wider- it is meaningful no more. Stopped now "between" in Zone If, Schroeder explores with us-in Zone in that pale Self-Identity Problems "Civil Servant" by Leslie Stevenson. (Published i n Canada, Box 5362, Station F, Ottawa 5. 234pp., por a long time now people (Canadian anyway) have been trying to define the essen- tial difference between Cana- dians and Americans. A brief comparison of Jac- queline Susanne's Love Ma- chine with Leslie Stevenson's Civil Servant may not provide us with any workable defini- tion, but it is a rather enjoy- able game to play, for a while at least. And it might have some validity as a basis for comparing the American out- look on life (or lileralure) with that found north of the border. For example, the hero of Su- sanne's novel spends his time hopping from bar to bar and bed to bed searching for himself. He is the highly-paid and all- powerful head of a television network. He goes out with movijj stars. Romantic, ex- citing, appealing? Certainly- Tho hero of Stevenson's book has the same self-identity prob- lems and takes much the same approach to solving them. Ex- cept that he is it civil servant, struggling his way up the bu- reaucratic ladder of success. He goes into the odd bar, but prefers to carry a bottle of Scotch with him. His first af- fair in the book is with a young lady from a research station in Saskatchewan. Romantic and exciting? Nope. Typically Canadian? It would seem so. And therein lies the main ap- peal of the book. Without the surface glitter and the endless sexual exploits of Love Ma- chine, we can settle down to the job of getting to know a real, believable person. And John Osborne, Stevenson's main character, is just that. Stevenson has obviously spent many years observing the kind of man he is describ- ing and he docs it well. There is not too much in the way of scintillating dialogue, but there is good insight into the civil service mentality. Only occasionally docs the au- thor slip into t h e pitfall of lengthy discussions of the workings of the civil service (unfortunately one of these is right at the start of the book; it makes for a slow Most of the time, however, things move along fairly well. At least well enough that read- ing the book is more than just wading through to the next sex scene. There are some flaws. Erika (the girl from the research sta- tion) is too important to be dropped suddenly half way tlirough, as she is. The author doesn't seem comfortable with the odd profanity he apparent- ly feels abliged to throw in. The dialogue tends to be stiff. And there are a few loose ends in the plot that are simply left hanging or are resolved rather lamely. But these are minor faults that cannot destroy the over-all impression of an honest, work- man-like job of wriling. The author knows his subject and captures all the subtle "dog- cat-dog" infighting that is sup- posed to be (and probably is) typical of the upper readies of the bureaucratic hierarchy. This tends to come across even bet- ter than the character of the hero himself. But the hero is adequate, not more, The plot moves along quite well. All in all it is a good, old-fashioned kind of book. It will never sell like Jacqueline Susanne, but it's Rood reading. HERB JOHNSON. of inner blue labyrinthine area of self consider knowledge which is filled with potentially explosive ozone. It is here that time and space are meaningless because all ex- periences are cross referenced and fused into metaphors ir- respective of their tidy order- liness in the outside world of reality and rationality. It is hero that Scliroeder most fully explores language and his poetic ability to shape mean- ingful expressions which ex- plode with lightning intensity in the highly charged atmos- phere. There is no doubt in my mind that Schroeder has tack- led problems common to all men. Of course, to gain a fuller understanding of Schroeder's poetry, one must read and re- read for himself to see how each poem builds on the pre- ceding one and how the reader is led imaginatively into that twilight zone of understanding where life is backlighted into stark relief. Though not all of the poems are of equal merit, I think it only fair to say that Schroeder has successfully launched his poetic course and is an important Canadian voice in the world of poetry. MARTIN OORDT Department of English University of Lethbridge Books In Brief "So Long As You're Healthy" by Harry Golden (Putnam, 314pp., SS.75, distri- buted by Longmans Canada Ltd.) must be at least the fourth collection of mate- rial written by Harry Golden for his paper, the Carolina Is- raelite, published in Charlotte, South Carolina. As usual it is honest, homey, humorous and humane. Most of the pieces are very brief. Tile longest article has to do with lynching and contains the shrewd observa- tion that the practice has been discom-agcd not because of a new-found respect for human beings but because it was noted that mobs usually endanger properly! The tcmplation lo log Mr. Golden's many priceless observations has to be resisted book itself should be read. University Financing 'J'HE old saying "The right hand knows not what tho left hand does" usually implies confusion or cross purposes. In the business of educational financing, it has seemed for some time that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Now, I'm beginning to wonder whether left hand does, cither. It is established policy in this province to make it possible for all persons qualified to attend university to do so. To implement this policy, millions of dollars have been poured into building university facilities. For tho five-year period starting in 1967, 185 million dollars were earmarked for uni- versity construction. This was not a "crash" program to establish universities in this province, nor a special effort to bring them up to a particular level. It was simply a continuation of the development of our uni- versity system, already considered second to none in this country and followed two or lliree decades of substantial expenditures for university buildings in Edmonton and Calgary. And it is not finished, by any means. A further five year allotment is being calculated and doubtless will re- quire additional millions. As this elaborate physical plant has grown there has been a contemporaneous increase in operating costs. This is logical and inevitable. The buildings were required because of massive increases in student en- rolment; the same pressure compelled the hiring of additional faculty, administrative and support staff, acquisition of equip- ment, the assembly of various services and facilities. Buildings don't educate anyone. So we arrived at the 1970-71 sesion with a substantial plant and by and the people and facilities required to oper- ate it a strong, well endowed universities system, among the best on the continent. And with expenditm'e or commitment for physical or human resources having been meticulously planned for and approved at every legislative level, right up to the top. That includes the universities them- selves. It includes each university board of governors, all members of which, except for the chancellor and president, are ap- poirifd by It includes tha universities tcrrvmission every member ap- pointed by the government. It includes tho treasury board, the cabinet and the legisla- ture itself. So now, in this year of grace, universities are told that they cannot be given sufficient funds to operate this magnificent plant. They must get along on less, about three million dollars less in Edmonton, over two million less in Calgary, and perhaps as much as a half million less in Lcthbridge. Why? Because fewer students enrolled than were anticipated. Not lhat the system is too elaborate, not that the money isn't available, but because there are not as many students as prcdiclcd. Docs that make sense to you? To me, it makes about as much sense as an ail-line laying off aircrew and maintenance per- sonnel, culling supplies, reducing safety procedures, and partially closing terminals because there are some empty seals on a particular flight. Or scrapping part of the health department because there doesn't seem to be an epidemic tliis year. This body count approach to university financing is irrational and dangerous, and it has got to stop. University education isn't something you manufacture, varying pro- duction from time to time as market con- ditions dictate. It isn't an assembly line that you can run faster or slower, accord- ing to demand. It doesn't have the land of labor force that can be doubled or halved, hired or laid off to meet production sched- ules. A few less students than expected doesn't result in any empty classrooms. At most, it might mean that classes are not quite as crowded as we thought they would be. At this particular university, 100 less stu- dents has no effect on the academic opera- tion. When scattered throughout the hun- dreds of clssses held each week on this campus, the "missing" students have a very slight effect on the size of classes. If you have only 40 students in a class, of the 42 or 43 you expected, you can't cancel the class and dismiss the teacher. Maybe a manufacturing operation can work that way. A university simply can't. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MOR1EY The Power Of Negative Thinking TT IS NOT often that Herbert Marcuse is praised in this column, but undoubt- edly this charismatic, idolized leader of youth in Western Europe (bora in Berlin and much of the United States has said some wise things. For example, he speaks of "tho power of negative thinking, a mental faculty iji danger of being obliterated" and which he contends to be the sole source of creative social criticism whose obliteration would mean the obliter- ation of social creativity. This runs coun- ter to the safety-first creed of Dale Carne- gie Urat one should never criticize nor con- demn, which is indeed the basic concept of service clubs. But is there not truth in what the man says? Take the bitter condemnations of Jesus In the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew where he accuses the professional men of omitting "the weightier matters of the Law, justice mercy, and good faith." Such an indict- ment of course, brought him into politics and it was as a political agitator that Jesus was executed. This is what the West- ern youth mean when they maintain that incarnation alone counts and incarnation means involvement with social problems especially in the political level and for the church to abstain from politics is hypocrisy. This is why an increasing number of Am- erican clergymen, both Catholic and Pro- testant are becoming involved in politics directly. They believe that many vital prob- lems can only be resolved at the political level. Senator George McGoveni, formerly a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, professor of history and poli- tical science, and chairman of various committees for the World Council of Churches, believes it is utterly impossible for a Christian to dissociate himself from' the political and social problems of his time. He points out that malnutrition is a critical health problem among 20 per cent of the population of (lie U.S., responsible [or the serious increase of rickets and goitre, eye problems due to deficiency of vitamin A, dental and gum decay, stunted bone growth, and mental retardation with impaired learning capacity. Senator Mark Hatfield joins to this the facts that since the Second World War the nation has spent over a trillion dollars for the machinery of war and training of soldiers, today spending out of every 5100 of tax revenues, for past, present, and future wars. Yet only ?1.84 out of are devoted to community development and housing and 52.50 to help the impoverished millions of the world. Nor can Canada be complacent wlien her defence spending escalates toward a billion dollars annually and crime and poverty are growing problems. Indiffer- ence is impossible for a decent man. "Too many are said Pope Paul in an and the distance is growmg that separates the progress of some and llie stagnation, not to say the regression, of others." Other vital problems intolerable to a re- ligious conscience require negative think- ing the destruction of natural resour- ces, the decay and desertion of the home, the creeping Communist teaching in schools and colleges, drugs and pornography. Be- fore such awesome evils one may abdicate into the silence of cynicism of human na- ture or despair of political processes both attitudes blasphemous of the silence of selfish indifference. After all, the hos- tility and bitterness of party politics ara not pleasant. Safer to be a cautious turtle, but certainly not moral. Let no one who makes the venture for one moment suppose that he will receive any gratitude, either from the political party or his country. He is sure to be show- ered with abuse, damage his business, and, in Latin American countries, endanger his life. As Jesus said, prophets were always stoned. But the true church has always combated ignorance, reformed prisons, de- manded just laws, created labor unions, and dealt not with sin in general but social evils in particular. Through its negative thinking, its bitter criticism of things S3 they were, mankind has advanced so far as it has done. Such negative, "contro- unpopular thinkers were the heroes of the race, the pioneers of a betler world. God bless them! Vote Of Confidence By.Dong.Walker AN out-of-town newspaper recently car- ried twin shots of a man lounging in a bathing suit on a deck chair. They were captioned: What a difference a dame makes! In the first picture the man's bay win- dow protruded obscenely above his bathing suit. But in the second picture a girl is walking past and lire bay window has been drawn in to give the man a svelte appear- ance. We were laughing over these pictures with friends wlwn Howard ruefully looked at his own protuberance and remarked that he would need a little time to accom- plish the transformation seen in the photo- graph. Margaret only snorted. Wives can be so cruel I ;