Sea of glory : America's voyage of discovery : the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 /
Nathaniel Philbrick.
New York : Viking, c2003.
xxv, 452 p.
067003231X (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Viking, c2003.
067003231X (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of the New York Times bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies and a leading authority on the history of Nantucket, where he lives with his wife and two children
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-07-01:
After his award-winning In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick stays on the water with this account of the six-vessel expedition launched by the U.S. government in 1838 to explore the Pacific. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-09-08:
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, [America] 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) Forecast: Despite a 12-city author tour, national ads and the success of Philbrick's previous National Book Award winner, it's hard to imagine Sea of Glory's subject matter luring as wide an audience as In the Heart of the Sea did. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, July 2003
Booklist, September 2003
Publishers Weekly, September 2003
Library Journal, November 2003
New York Times Book Review, November 2003
New York Times Book Review, December 2003
Books in Canada, March 2004
School Library Journal, May 2004
New York Times Book Review, January 2005
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Main Description
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, winner of the National Book Award, he probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in a cinematic epic of adventure, he writes about the expedition that attempted to tame those dangers, only to find itself at the mercy of a tempestuous commander.
Unpaid Annotation
In 1838, the U.S. government launched the largest discovery voyage the Western world had ever seen-6 sailing vessels and 346 men bound for the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Four years later, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, or Ex. Ex. as it was known, returned with an astounding array of accomplishments and discoveries: 87,000 miles logged, 280 Pacific islands surveyed, 4,000 zoological specimens collected, including 2,000 new species, and the discovery of the continent of Antarctica. And yet at a human level, the project was a disaster-not only had 28 men died and 2 ships been lost, but a series of sensational courts-martial had also ensued that pitted the expedition's controversial leader, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, against almost every officer under his command. Though comparable in importance and breadth of success to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Ex. Ex. has been largely forgotten. Now, the celebrated Nathaniel Philbrick re-creates this chapter of American maritime history in all its triumph and scandal. Like the award-winning In the Heart of the Sea , Sea of Glory combines meticulous history with spellbinding human drama as it circles the globe from the palm-fringed beaches of the South Pacific to the treacherous waters off Antarctica and to the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and, finally, to a court-martial aboard a ship of the line anchored off New York City.
Unpaid Annotation
Like the award-winning "In the Heart of the Sea, Sea of Glory" combines meticulous history with spellbinding human drama as it circles the globe from the palm-fringed beaches of the South Pacific to the treacherous waters off Antarctica and to the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and, finally, to a court-martial aboard a ship anchored off New York City.
Table of Contents
Preface: Young Ambitionp. xv
The Great South Seap. 3
The Deplorable Expeditionp. 17
Most Glorious Hopesp. 43
At Seap. 63
The Turning Pointp. 87
Commodore of the Pacificp. 117
Antarcticap. 149
A New Continentp. 169
The Cannibal Islesp. 189
Massacre at Malolop. 213
Mauna Loap. 233
The Wreck of the Peacockp. 259
Homeward Boundp. 287
Reckoningp. 303
This Thing Called Sciencep. 331
Legacyp. 347
Epiloguep. 361
Notesp. 365
Selected Bibliographyp. 415
Acknowledgmentsp. 437
Indexp. 441
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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