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Sea of Glory

America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

"A treasure of a book."—David McCullough

The harrowing story of a pathbreaking naval expedition that set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean, dwarfing Lewis and Clark with its discoveries, from the New York Times bestselling author of Valiant Ambition and In the Hurricane's Eye.

A New York Times Notable Book

America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen—the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has—until now—been relegated to a footnote in the national memory.

Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 08, 2003 – After chronicling the sinking of the whaleship Essex in In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick attempts to rescue from obscurity the U.S. Exploring Expedition's 1838 1842 circumnavigation of the world and its cartographic and scientific accomplishments. With a strong narrative pull but an anticlimactic story arc, he chronicles the six-vessel squadron's Pacific escapades. Instead of a grisly page-turner, however, Philbrick follows his bestselling tragedy with a drawn-out success story. More than a tale of the Ex. Ex's journey, the book also profiles the expedition's egomaniacal commander, Lt. Charles Wilkes; the psychological warfare he waged against his officers; and the near-miraculous survival of the squadron despite Wilkes's perverse leadership and lack of nautical experience. Wilkes was, however, an accomplished surveyor, and the Ex. Ex. mapped hundreds of Pacific islands, 800 miles of the Oregon coast, 100 miles of the Columbia River and 1,500 miles of Antarctic coast. The expedition's scientists made groundbreaking contributions in ethnography, biology and geology (their collections formed the basis of the Smithsonian Institution). Particularly noteworthy among Philbrick's gripping passages are his descriptions of brash navigation in the Antarctic but too much of the book bogs down in Wilkes's petty politicking, as he degraded talented men and promoted incompetent ones so as not to be outshone. After four years at sea, he had alienated nearly every officer and returned home to a court-martial. "Instead of a thrilling tale of discovery and incredible achievement, heard more about the flawed personality of the Expedition's commander than anyone wanted to know," Philbrick writes of Wilkes's 1842 trial, in which he was acquitted. Unfortunately, this spoils the retelling, too. Maps not seen by PW. (On sale Nov. 10)

Customer Reviews

Excellent

Great read about a major sailing adventure in the early 1800's. I was not aware of U.S. Exploration in this time frame and the long term benefit to science. The main characters are skillfully described and all possess stamina beyond the average person. You will not be disappointed if you like the sea and boats.

Sea of Glory
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Nov 10, 2003
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: PENGUIN GROUP USA, INC.
  • Print Length: 480 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings