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Dishonorable Dr. Cook

Debunking the Notorious Mount McKinley Hoax

  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-804-3
  • Oct 2, 2001


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* Contains never-before-published and hard-to-find information
* Showcases eight breathtaking, previously unpublished photos by Bradford Washburn

For 50 years, celebrated mountaineer Bradford Washburn was obsessed with Frederick Cook's claim to have been the first to reach the summit of Mount McKinley in 1906. Washburn's conclusion: Cook was a fraud. At the very least Frederick Cook was a showman of outsized proportion. The Dishonorable Dr. Cook tells the story of the colorful Cook -- what sort of man he was, why he staked his reputation on a flimsy story, and why so many people have been anxious to debunk his claims. Other details of Cook's checkered career are also included, such as his role in Peary's unsuccessful expedition to the North Pole in 1892-1893, his own amazing circumnavigation of McKinley in 1903, and his determination to be the first to reach the North Pole. Cook's account of the 1906 McKinley ascent is described, followed by evidence against it.

Most compelling, however, are the side-by-side comparisons of Cook's original photos with Washburn's identical ones, taken decades later, from locations very different than Cook alleged. Washburn's name is all but synonymous with Mount McKinley, and his skill in recreating the photos is incomparable.


  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-804-3
  • Oct 2, 2001

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