Reading into History: Interview with Martin Sandler

impossiblerescueHow did a few men and two giant herds of reindeer rescue hundreds of whalers trapped in Northern Alaska in the middle of winter in 1898? This Sunday, the Reading into History family book club will meet to discuss Martin Sandler’s book about this epic mission, The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure. We will be joined by Michael Dyer, Senior Maritime Historian at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, who also worked on the book. Mr. Sandler won’t be with us but he kindly spent some time answering our author questions. Check out his answers and come to the book wrap at 3 pm this Sunday here at the museum. We’ll talk about the rescue mission and the history of the whaling industry.

DiMenna Children’s History Museum: What is your favorite time period in American history? Why?

Martin Sandler: I find things in every period of American history that fascinate me. My main goal is to make history come alive by discovering a story that is remarkable, important, and unknown or little known and telling it in the most compelling way possible.

DCHM: What were you like between the ages of 9 and 12?

MS: I was totally consumed with both playing and watching baseball, football, and basketball. I was also an incorrigible prankster and was, no doubt, not nearly as funny as I thought I was.

DCHM: What is your favorite place in New York?

MS: I am deeply and emotionally affected by Ellis Island and it is impossible for me to stand there without being filled with an abiding appreciation of how much we owe to those who passed through its hall. And, I LOVE New York delis.

DCHM: What made you want to write The Impossible Rescue?

MS: From the moment I discovered this story,  knew it was a story of such courage and dedication that it was crying out to be told, particularly to young people. The fact that I was able to find the diaries written by the key participants helped me to truly bring the story to life.

DCHM: What three words best describe The Impossible Rescue?

MS: Amazing – Unforgettable – INSPIRING

If you have questions about the book club, email familyprograms@nyhistory.org. See you on Sunday!


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