Bouton, Katherine. "Not Quite on Top of the World," a review of The Noose of Laurels, by
Wally Herbert and A Black Explorer at the North Pole, by Matthew A. Hensen. (New York:
Atheneum and University of Nebraska Press, 1989) (The later is originally, 1912) The New York
Times Book Review, 13 August 1989, p. 11.
Herbert has come to a decision after examining the handwritten diary and the astronomical
observations made on Peary's polar journey. These sources have been unavailable since 1911.
After examining them, Herbert concludes that Peary did not make it to the Pole. Not only was
Peary's watch off, but he was on a moving ice floe. All things considered, he was probably 40
miles from the Pole and his claims to have reached it were fabricated.
Hensen's book indicates that he believed Peary made the Pole, and that Hensen was far more
than a valet. As Bouton puts it: "But his role was virtually ignored and he died in oblivion." It
was not until last year that his contributions to the polar explorations were acknowledged. He is
now buried at Arlington next to Peary.