Dead Reckoning Secondary Title

In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.

But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.

Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.

Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.

The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.

Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.

The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.

Dead Reckoning

Praise for Fatal Passage: 

“A passionately and immaculately researched book. A sort of Arctic whodunnit” 

Beryl Bainbridge 

“McGoogan tells a riveting story — backed by solid research — that illuminates a fascinating chapter in the annals of Arctic exploration” 

The Wall Street Journal 

“In Ken McGoogan’s artful telling, John Rae emerges from the shadows to take his place among the most intriguing of the 19th century arctic explorers. This is delightful reading.”

Andrea Barrett 

Praise for Race to the Polar Sea: 

“Ken McGoogan’s readable biography ensures Kane’s place in the pantheon of polar explorers. Highly recommended.” 

Library Journal Review – Starred 

HarperCollins Canada 2017

Dead Reckoning

The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage

 In this magnificent book, Ken McGoogan weaves past and present, the personal and the historical, the scientific and the romantic, into a seamless tale. 

In Dead Reckoning, McGoogan reaches back to the 17thC when Arctic adventurers relied largely on speed x time to calculate their location. He conveys the sweep and splendour of Arctic history through accounts of the explorers, the fur traders, and above all the indigenous citizens who have been omitted from previous exploration narratives. 

Among them is Akaitcho, the Yellowknife chieftain who rescued John Franklin after he lost more than half his men on his first overland expedition. We also meet Tookoolito, an Inuk woman brought to England, who learned English and assisted Charles Francis Hall. There is Hans Hendrik, an Inuk who helped Philadelphia doctor Elisha Kent Kane. 

Along the way, McGoogan explodes some myths, notably the legend of Sir John Franklin’s heroism. McGoogan asserts that he was a hapless bungler who presided over the worst disaster is the history of Arctic exploration and that his prominence is due to a master spin-doctor—his wife Jane Franklin. The story of Franklin will continue today with the discovery of Franklin’s two lost ships, the Erebus and the Terror

Ken McGoogan is possibly the only historian of the Arctic who has made more than nine trips to the region, including journeys through the fabled Northwest Passage. His dozen published books include four biographies of Arctic explorers. He has won such coveted prizes as: the Pierre Berton Award for History, the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography, the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award, the Writers’ Trust of Canada Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, and an American Christopher Award.