The Cruelest Miles and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $45.00
  • Save: $10.74 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Cruelest Miles: The H... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic Hardcover – June 17, 2003


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$34.26
$1.95 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$20.00
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic + The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail + Togo
Price for all three: $55.76

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (June 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393019624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393019629
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"No one understands Alaska. [Officials in Washington] wire me to step over to Nome to look up a little matter, not realizing that it takes me 11 days to get there." That's the state's governor, Scott Bone, in 1922, three years before the distant, former Gold Rush outpost would need help combating an incipient diphtheria epidemic. As the Salisbury cousins amply demonstrate, upstate Alaska during winter was about as alien and forbidding as the moon-total isolation, endless night, bizarre acoustics, unreliably frozen rivers, and 60-below temperatures eventually causing both body and mind to shut down altogether. Under these circumstances, the 674-mile dogsled journey required to bring Nome the desperately needed serum seemed destined to fail, to put it mildly. The authors rightly frame the undertaking as the last gasp of an ancient technology before the impending arrival of air and road travel. As soon as news of the situation reached the "lower 48," it instantly became headline fodder for weeks. The book demonstrates the remarkable intimacy mushers develop with their lead dogs-only a handful of sled dogs have the character, courage, intelligence and will to be the lead dog. Especially heroic were renowned musher Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog, Balto, who undertook the treacherous and long final leg; the dog is immortalized by a statue in New York City's Central Park. The journey itself occupies the second half of the book; the authors judiciously flesh out the story with fascinating background information about Nome, the Gold Rush, dogsledding and Alaska. This is an elegantly written book, inspiring tremendous respect for the hardy mushers and their canine partners.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Many readers are familiar with the story of the dog Balto and the Nome, AK, diphtheria outbreak of 1925 and how 20 men and more than 200 dogs raced 674 miles against time and weather to save a community. The Salisburys provide a complete account of that feat-the first book in 40 years to do so-and, perhaps, introduce readers to two of the most crucial and courageous characters in this drama, Leonhard Seppala and his peerless lead dog, Togo. The authors supply a constant flow of interesting facts about Nome, the introduction of Siberian Huskies to Alaska, the beginnings of the Alaska airline industry, and why air delivery of the serum was discounted as an option. The heart of the book, however, is the run itself. Readers will be on tenterhooks as they follow the mushers and their dogs through minus-60-degree temperatures, unbroken trails, "ice fog," treacherous ice floes, gales, and blizzards, from the January day when Dr. Curtis Welsh realized that he faced an epidemic with only three nurses and an outdated supply of serum to that early morning less than five days later when Gunnar Kaasen and his Balto-led dogsled team arrived in Nome, exhausted and frostbitten, and carrying the new serum. At a time when a cost/benefit analysis is a major precursor to action, this book is a refreshing look at the lengths people and their devoted animals went to simply because, as one musher put it, "I wanted to help."-Dori DeSpain, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Thank you for writing such a well researched account of this event and presenting it in such a fascinating fashion.
Robert N. Lane
This book is a must read for dog lovers, everyone living in Alaska, as well as anyone seeking to learn about Alaska's history and have an adventure while doing so.
marie
Gay and Laney Salisbury (cousins), have written a wonderful book that is basically about the 1925 dog-sled serum run that saved the town of Nome from diphtheria.
Lisa Kearns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By "janice2591" on June 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wow! What a breathtaking read. The Salisburys have beautifully captured an exciting bit of American history. Except for one slim book years ago, nothing has been written -until now- about the race against time and weather to deliver medicine for a diphtheria epidemic to Nome, Alaska in 1925.
The writers take the reader on a wonderful adventure that later fostered the annual Iditerod race. They have expertly woven together the history of a nation, its people and the dogs that became such an integral part of Alaska's very existence. "The Cruelest Miles" captures the intimacy between man and animal in the same way "Seabiscuit" so successfully did.
In early 1999, I read the New York Times' obituary of the last surviving musher of that miraculous dog sled team. I noted it with interest. Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury went more than one step further. They created a fascinating, well written book. From the very first page, I could not put it down!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Robert N. Lane on January 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Gay and Laney Salisbury have done a wonderful job of researching and writing a riveting saga of one of the most incredible journeys in history.

I knew one of the primary mushers...Leonhard Seppala, and the story they have told is the story I heard direct from Seppala. In the early 1960s Seppala lived in the Ballard district in Seattle. I got to know the man several years before his death and would stop to visit him after school and listen to his tales over cookies and milk. At the time there was no way a 10 year old could appreciate the incredible conditions Seppala faced in this epic race to save Nome.

The Salisbury's have filled in those details. They have set the scene and helped me appreciate just what it was like in Nome in 1925 setting out by dog sled in 50 below temperatures to travel so many miles. I received the book for Christmas and it was the most delightful book I have ever read.

What's more it was wonderful to see that Leonhard's lead dog Togo got the recognition he so deserved. I remember how saddened Leonhard was even late in life that Balto got the glory and Togo got virtually no credit. The stories he told me about Togo showed he was an exceptional dog and Leonhard loved him to the end.

Thank you for writing such a well researched account of this event and presenting it in such a fascinating fashion.

Robert Lane

Ashland, OR
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marisa LeFevre on May 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The graphic, vivid descriptions of such freezing temperatures made me feel a chill in the 100* California heat. I felt as if the authors themselves had experienced and survived the very perils of the Alaskan wilderness they describe. They described the scenes, strength, fellowship and symbiosis between dogs and humans, interdependancy that every faction of the Alskan wilderness shared as if they had lived it themselves.
I am a teacher and have read Balto to my children many a time...this will give me a much greater insight and lesson plans around the literature.
If you like dogs-even just a little bit-you'll love this book AND love your dog more. If you like adventure, you'll like this book. If you like history, you'll like this book. If you're interested in the lesser explored slices of 'Americana' you'll like this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thelma C. Johnson on February 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
More thrilling than fiction are the stories of real-life events, especially those as gripping as this one. One of the problems of writing about an event of which everyone knows the ending is keeping the suspense going, as well as giving sufficient background for the reader to understand the depth of the crisis. The Salisbury cousins have been painstaking in their research, and have interspersed the narrative with information about weather, natives, history, and personalities so that we are caught up in the tension, pain, and struggle of the efforts of so many to bring serum to the isolated community under the worst possible conditions. For readers concerned with heroism, as well as delineation of a time and place, this is a page-turner.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S Heimlich on September 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I believe this is a well written book that really satisfied my interest in Alaska, its natives, and the amazing relationship between dog and man. I had picked up "Cruelest Miles" just on the heels of reading "Seabiscuit," which I enjoyed thoroughly. So, I was riding on some high standards when I read the Salisbury cousins' book. And, as it is their first book together, there's room for improvement, but I enjoyed their work enough to pass it on to friends.
The absorbing portions of the book focus on the amazing feats of the Sled drivers and their teams of dogs. One gets a chill even in this summer heat when reading about mushing the dogs through a blinding snow with wind chill temperatures at 70 below. And that is the main tribute the book rides on: without these courageous men working in tandem with arguably the most loyal of animals, scores of Nome residents would have perished to the horrible disease of Diptheria.
The authors, unfortunately, do tend to get the reader sidetracked when taking a detour chapter into the background of a specific element of Alaska history. Some of these pieces added little value, and instead slowed the momentum of the great race to get the serum to Nome. I also made the mistake of reading each footnote; some contain interesting facts, but many were quite long, and only distracted me from the adventure that the authors otherwise do a great job in relaying.
Avoid the long footnotes, stick to the trail of the dogs, and you will enjoy reading a fascinating piece of history from the Last Frontier.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?