The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic


"A stirring tale of survival, thanks to man's best friend . . . reflects a transcendent understanding and impeccable research."

Seattle Times



In 1925, a deadly diphtheria epidemic swept through icebound Nome, Alaska. The life-saving serum was a thousand miles away, and a blizzard was brewing. Airplanes could not fly in such conditions: only the dogs could do it. Racing against death, twenty dog teams relayed the serum across the Alaskan wilderness as newspapers nationwide headlined the drama, enthralling an entire generation. The heroic dash to Nome inspired the annual Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska and immortalized Balto, the lead dog whose arrival in Nome over a snow-blown trail was an American legend in the making. His bronze statue still stands in New York City's Central Park, in dedication to the "Endurance, Fidelity and Intelligence" of the dogs that saved Nome. This is their story, the greatest dog story never fully told, until now. 2 maps, 48 illustrations.


More Praise


“This is a moving story, superbly researched and deftly told.”               

    • Sebastian Junger, Vanity Fair contributing editor and author.


“A classic tale of man against nature enacted against the heartbreaking ice fields of Jack London’s White Silence.”

    • New York Times Book Review


Quite literally a cliff hanger.” 

    •Minneapolis Star Tribune


“...a scrupulously researched, cleanly written account that makes for a rollicking good adventure.” 

    -Entertainment Weekly, Editor’s Choice


“Drawing on archives, government publications, newspapers, and interviews, the Salisburys have written an amazing story.”



Dog lovers will thrill to this tale of canine valor, but the book also possesses significant appeal for those interested in medical epidemics and the history of Alaska.”

    • USA Today 



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Laney Salisbury  


The Cruelest Miles

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