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Description de l’éditeur
Now a major motion picture starring Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, Tim Blake Nelson, John Krasinski, and Vinessa Shaw—an account of the dramatic rescue of three gray whales trapped under the ice in Alaska in 1988.
Set in Cold War–era 1988, Big Miracle tells the real story behind the remarkable, bizarre, and oftentimes uproarious event that mesmerized the world for weeks. On October 7, an Inuit hunter near Barrow, Alaska, found three California Gray whales imprisoned in the Arctic ice. In the past, as was nature's way, trapped whales always died. Not this time. Tom Rose, who was covering the event for a Japanese TV station, compellingly describes how oil company executives, environmental activists, Inupiat people, small business people, and the U.S. military boldly worked together to rescue the whales. He also tells the stories of some of the more than 150 international journalists who brought the story to the world's attention. The rescue was followed by millions of people around the world as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev joined the forces of their two nations to help free the whales.
Rose presents the story of what might have been a nonevent: three gray whales become trapped beneath the spreading ice in an early Arctic freeze in September 1988. So many whales suffer the same fate each year, the mostly Eskimo residents of the nearby Alaskan settlement of Barrow find nothing unusual in the stranding. Yet when Eskimo whaler Roy Ahmoagak informs two scientists from the local wildlife center of the whales' plight, he sets off a media avalanche that descends on the tiny subsistence whaling village in a storm of flashbulbs and news helicopters. Soon, the nation is riveted to the story, and the rescue attempt known as Operation Breakthrough snowballs, taking on oil magnates, Greenpeace activists, Eskimos, the National Guard, and even the Soviets. The book is most compelling when it focuses on the simple drama of the whales' plight and the extraordinary lives the people of Barrow eke from the harsh elements; it's less interesting when it strays into anti big government polemics and caricatures of "limousine liberal" environmentalists. (Rose's day job is as a conservative talk radio host.) Yet by the end of the book, Rose's depictions of the prime players grows more nuanced, as he zeroes in on the surprising tale of how three creatures sparked a global effort that united warring factions in sheer awe at the bulky yet graceful denizens of this stark and little-understood world.