White Jacket or The World in a Man of War

White Jacket or The World in a Man of War

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by Herman Melville
     
 

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White-Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War, usually referred to as White-Jacket, is an 1850 novel by Herman Melville first published in England on January 23 by Richard Bentley and in the U.S. on March 21 by Harper & Brothers. Based on Melville's experiences as a common seaman aboard the frigate USS United States from 1843 to 1844

Overview

White-Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War, usually referred to as White-Jacket, is an 1850 novel by Herman Melville first published in England on January 23 by Richard Bentley and in the U.S. on March 21 by Harper & Brothers. Based on Melville's experiences as a common seaman aboard the frigate USS United States from 1843 to 1844 and stories that other sailors told him, the novel is severely critical of virtually every aspect of American naval life and thus qualifies as Melville's most politically strident work. At the time, though, the one thing that journalists and politicians focused on in the novel was its graphic descriptions of flogging and the horrors caused by its arbitrary use; in fact, because Harper & Bros. made sure the book got into the hands of every member of Congress, White-Jacket was instrumental in abolishing flogging in the U.S. Navy forever. Melville scholars also acknowledge the huge number of parallels between White-Jacket and Billy Budd and view the former as a rich source for possible interpretations of the latter.

The mixture of journalism, history, and fiction; the presentation of a sequence of striking characters; the metaphor of a sailing ship as the world in miniature all of these prefigure his next novel, Moby-Dick.

- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It's terrific to see this in print again, and with a useful appendix as well."—Charles Npravnik, State University of New York at Brockport

"An unusually attractive edition, from the cover design to the print and the generous margins. The author chronology, bibliography, and explanatory notes are all helpful. I also like the size and the feel of this edition."—Donald Coen, Sam Houston State University

"Delighted to have a moderately priced, well annotated edition available again."—Marvin Fisher, Arizona State University

"Excellent! Good, clear type—a much needed new edition."—George F. Day, University of North Iowa

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605013374
Publisher:
MobileReference
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Series:
Mobi Classics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
756,648
File size:
476 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), and after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
August 1, 1819
Date of Death:
September 28, 1891
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Education:
Attended the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, until age 15

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White-jacket, or, The world in a man-of-war 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Mike0301 More than 1 year ago
Read this before Moby Dick to understand what the sailor's life was like aboard ships of that era.