In 1909, two men laid rival claims to the North Pole. They had been friends and shipmates, with Frederic Cook, a doctor, accompanying Robert Peary, a civil engineer, on an expedition to northern Greenland in 1891. When Peary’s leg was shattered in an accident, Cook took care of him. But all goodwill was gone by the summer of 1909 when Peary said he had reached the Pole in September 1909, while Cooked presented evidence that he had gotten there earlier—in 1908. “What a consummate cur he is,” said Robert Peary of Frederick Cook in 1911. Cook responded by saying, “Peary has stooped to every crime from rape to murder.” In this wonderfully engaging and researched narrative, Bruce Henderson writes about one of the most enduring and fiery feuds in the history of exploration.