In October 1988 an Inuit hunter saw three grey whales trapped in the frozen Arctic ocean near Barrow, an isolated Alaskan outpost. They were working together to keep their blow hole open, the two adolescents caring for the weaker baby. It was a poignant sight. Filmed by a local television reporter, this tiny regional news story snowballed into a global media frenzy.
In this gripping, insightful book Tom Rose describes how journalists poured into Barrow, all woefully ill equipped for the sub-zero temperatures, warming up on bootleg alcohol. As the locals cheerfully found ways to profit from the visitors, Greenpeace activist Cindy Lowry battled to mount an extraordinary rescue operation that would unite conservationists and oil companies, the Inuit and the military, President Reagan and the Kremlin.
‘At times a marvellously funny story . . . Beneath the heartwarming aspect of the rescue are darker tales of human greed, and about the power television has acquired to set the agenda of the news’Washington Post