Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

by Eric Jay Dolin
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0393331571

ISBN-13: 9780393331578

Pub. Date: 07/28/2008

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

A Los Angeles Times Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007
A Boston Globe Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007
Amazon.com Editors pick as one of the 10 best history books of 2007
Winner of the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History, given by the North American Society for Oceanic History
"The best history of American whaling to come along in a generation." —

Overview

A Los Angeles Times Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007
A Boston Globe Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007
Amazon.com Editors pick as one of the 10 best history books of 2007
Winner of the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History, given by the North American Society for Oceanic History
"The best history of American whaling to come along in a generation." —Nathaniel Philbrick
The epic history of the "iron men in wooden boats" who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales. "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme," Herman Melville proclaimed, and this absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling. Eric Jay Dolin begins his vivid narrative with Captain John Smith's botched whaling expedition to the New World in 1614. He then chronicles the rise of a burgeoning industry—from its brutal struggles during the Revolutionary period to its golden age in the mid-1800s when a fleet of more than 700 ships hunted the seas and American whale oil lit the world, to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs. Containing a wealth of naturalistic detail on whales, Leviathan is the most original and stirring history of American whaling in many decades.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393331578
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
268,013
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction     11
Arrival and Ascent, 1614-1774
John Smith Goes Whaling     17
"The King of Waters, The Sea-Shouldering Whale"     30
All Along the Coast     41
Nantucket, the "Faraway Land"     63
The Whale's Whale     75
Into "Ye Deep"     90
Candle Wars     109
Glory Days     119
Tragedy and Triumph, 1775-1860
On the Eve of Revolution     139
Ruin     149
Up from the Ashes     165
Knockdown     188
The Golden Age     205
"An Enormous, Filthy Humbug"     253
Stories, Songs, Sex, and Scrimshaw     275
Mutinies, Murders, Mayhem, and Malevolent Whales     282
Disaster and Decay, 1861-1924
Stones in the Harbor and Fire on the Water     309
From the Earth     335
Ice Crush     342
Fading Away     353
Epilogue: Fin Out     370
Notes     375
Select Bibliography     453
Illustration Credits     461
Acknowledgments     463
Index     467

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