Leviathan by Eric Jay Dolin
The History of Whaling in America

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Eric Jay Dolin

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Eric Jay Dolin is the author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling In America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History; and Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America. He is also the author of When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his Ph.D. in environmental policy, he lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.
 
Published July 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 512 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Travel, Computers & Technology, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Leviathan

The New York Times

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Looking back at two centuries of American whaling, a bloody, brutal, stinking, dangerous, sometimes lucrative, always high-risk business.

Jul 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Leviathan: The History of Wha...

The New York Times

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Eric Jay Dolin dutifully chronicles the long history of whaling in North America, from the voyages of Capt. John Smith.

Jul 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Leviathan: The History of Wha...

Open Letters Monthly

Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America.

Oct 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Leviathan: The History of Wha...

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