Alex MacLean was the inspiration for the title character in Jack
London's bestselling novel The Sea-Wolf. Originally from Cape
Breton, MacLean sailed to the Pacific side of North America when he
was twenty-one and worked there for thirty-five years as a sailor
and sealer. His achievements and escapades while in the Victoria
fleet in the 1880s laid the foundation for his status as a folk
hero. But this biography reveals more than the construction of a
legend. Don MacGillivray opens a window onto the sealing dispute
brought the United States and Britain to the brink of war, with
Canadian sealing interests frequently enmeshed in espionage,
scientific debate, diplomatic negotiations, and vexing questions of
maritime and environmental law.
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