by Leonard F. Guttridge. Naval Institute Press, $23.95. In 1879 the U.S. Navy, undeterred by previous disaster in the Arctic, joined forces with the newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett to attempt yet another dash for the Pole. The ship involved was the Jeannette, paid for by Bennett, who hoped to increase circulation by repeating his recent Stanley and Livingstone coup, while the Navy provided five officers but was otherwise half-hearted about the affair. The expedition sailed north via the Aleutians and ended in loss of life, recriminations among the survivors, and the inevitable naval and congressional inquiries. Mr. Guttridge argues that those inquiries were a cover-up, but his meticulous, well-written, truly exciting reconstruction of the destruction of the Jeannette and the miseries endured by her crew once adrift on the ice suggests that there was nothing that needed coverage except the folly of the Navy in cooperating with the gaudy and basically irresponsible Bennett. No amount of good planning, good leadership, resourceful engineering, or courage—and the company provided all of those— could alter the fact that the Jeannette was unfit to spend two years in the ice.