stefansson-wrangel-09-31-011r

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xix

INTRODUCTION

In presenting this book to the world, Mr. Stefansson
has been compelled to labor under the most trying
circumstances possible; trying because of conditions
created by the reprehensible conduct of Harold Noice
and the strong public and private feelings that have been
born of his newspaper msirepresenationmistreatment of the facts concerning the
Wrangel Island expedition. I believe that in writing
this book Mr. Stefansson he has been actuated by one single desire, to
do full and impartial justice to all with whom he has to
deal.

I believe that one of the chief reasons for the partly or
wholly wrong ideas held by the public is a lack of a
comprehensive understanding of the situation in the
great expanse of the North. When the news of the
tragedy of Wrangel Island first came to me even I, too,
was confused notwithstanding the fact that, having had
a son in the Arctic from 1915 until 1919, I had kept
a close watch on all that was published of the northern
portion of the world, had always kept a map hanging
handy so I could study the geography of the Arctic, and
had learned a great deal more of that land than the
average citizen and I deemed myself to have a pretty
good understanding of the situation. Yet, when I talked
later with many who had had personal experiences there,
I realized that there was a vastness about the whole
Northern area that made it very easy for me to form an
erroneous conception of the conditions. I am slower
now to say that such a man should have done so and so,
and another should not have done as he did do.

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