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From the author of Mayflower, Valiant Ambition, and In the Hurricane's Eye--the riveting bestseller tells the story of the true events that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick. Winner of the National Book Award, Nathaniel Philbrick's book is a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of whaling, with deep resonance in American literature and history. In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea, recently adapted into a major feature film starring Chris Hemsworth, is a book for the ages.
Discover the amazing true story behind the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick and the feature film Heart of the Sea A tragic yet riveting narration of life and death and man against the elements, this is an extreme account of shipwreck survival. On the morning of November 20, 1820, in the Pacific Ocean 2,000 miles from the coast of South America, an enraged sperm whale rammed the Nantucket whaleship Essex. As the boat began to sink, her crew of 20, including first mate Owen Chase, grabbed what little they could before piling into frail boats and taking to the open seas. So began their four-month ordeal and struggle for survival. This is a bleak story, only eight men survived having endured starvation and dehydration, giving in to cannibalism, murder, and insanity. Owen Chase recorded the extraordinary account in his autobiography, originally published in 1821.
The Number One best-selling, epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the 19th century, beautifully reissued.
Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-ship Essex is an account by first mate Owen Chase of the Essex, a whale ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts, that was sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean near South American in 1820. Of the twenty-man crew, only eight survived the horrific ordeal; some men were stranded on an island, all remaining crew were forced to eat food tainted by seawater and drink their own urine, and finally, when members of the crew started dying, those still alive resorted to cannibalism until they were rescued. Narrative of the Whale-ship Essex inspired Herman Melville to write his enduring classic Moby-Dick in 1851; it also inspired the 2015 movie In the Heart of the Sea, based on the 2000 best-selling book of the same name.
The morning of 20 November 1820 was a doomed one for the Essex. Over 1000 miles from land, she was sunk, rammed by a sperm whale. Only eight sailors survived the following three months of despair and debilitating exhaustion at sea - Owen Chase was one of these, and this is his journal of shipwreck, camaraderie and cannibalism.
A “brilliant and provocative” (The New Yorker) celebration of Melville’s masterpiece—from the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea, Valiant Ambition, and In the Hurricane's Eye One of the greatest American novels finds its perfect contemporary champion in Why Read Moby-Dick?, Nathaniel Philbrick’s enlightening and entertaining tour through Melville’s classic. As he did in his National Book Award–winning bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick brings a sailor’s eye and an adventurer’s passion to unfolding the story behind an epic American journey. He skillfully navigates Melville’s world and illuminates the book’s humor and unforgettable characters—finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. An ideal match between author and subject, Why Read Moby-Dick? will start conversations, inspire arguments, and make a powerful case that this classic tale waits to be discovered anew. “Gracefully written [with an] infectious enthusiasm…”—New York Times Book Review
A New York Times Bestseller Winner of the George Washington Prize A surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold, from the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and In the Hurricane's Eye. "May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age—a volume that turns one of America’s best-known narratives on its head.”—Boston Globe "Clear and insightful, [Valiant Ambition] consolidates Philbrick's reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction."—Wall Street Journal In the second book of his acclaimed American Revolution series, Nathaniel Philbrick turns to the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental army under an unsure George Washington evacuated New York after a devastating defeat by the British army. Three weeks later, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeded in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have lost the war. As this book ends, four years later Washington has vanquished his demons, and Arnold has fled to the enemy. America was forced at last to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from withinComplex, controversial, and dramatic, Valiant Ambition is a portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Nathaniel Philbrick is a masterly storyteller. Here he seeks to elevate the naval battles between the French and British to a central place in the history of the American Revolution. He succeeds, marvelously."--The New York Times Book Review The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower. In the concluding volume of his acclaimed American Revolution series, Nathaniel Philbrick tells the thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake—fought without a single American ship—made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
History comes alive in this gripping account of a young boy caught up in the start of the Revolutionary War. Based on an episode in National Book Award–winning author Nathaniel Philbrick’s New York Times bestseller Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, this engrossing story allows readers to experience history from a child’s perspective, and Wendell Minor’s stunning paintings will transport readers back to the early days of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Russell is in school on the morning of April 19th, 1775, when his teacher announces, “The war’s begun, and you may run!” Ben knew this day was coming; after all, tensions had been mounting between the colonists and the British troops ever since the Boston Tea Party. And now they have finally reached the breaking point. Ben and his friends excitedly rush out of their classroom to bear witness, and follow the throngs of redcoats marching out of Boston toward Concord. Much to Ben’s surprise, Boston is sealed off later that day—leaving the boys stuck outside the city, in the middle of a war, with no way to reach their families. But Ben isn’t worried—he’s eager to help the Patriots! He soon becomes a clerk to the jovial Israel Putnam, a general in the provincial army. For months he watches the militia grow into an organized army, and when the Battle of Bunker Hill erupts, Ben is awed by the bravery of the Patriots, although saddened by the toll war takes. He later goes on to become an apprentice at a Revolutionary newspaper, and it’s a happy day when they get to report on the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Praise for Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution “Philbrick guides us beautifully through Revolutionary Boston, with the Battle of Bunker Hill as his story’s grand climax.”—The New York Times Book Review “Masterly narrative . . . Philbrick tells the complex story superbly . . . gripping book.”—The Wall Street Journal “A masterpiece of narrative and perspective. . . . This is not only . . . the greatest American story. It is also the American story.”—The Boston Globe “You will delight in the story and the multitude of details Philbrick offers up.”—USA Today
A thrilling documentation of the first sinking of a ship by a whale.