Eye of the Whale: Epic Passage From Baja To Siberia

Front Cover
Island Press, Sep 20, 2004 - Nature - 688 pages
4 Reviews
Named a Best Book of the Year by three major newspapers upon its initial publication, and now available for the first time in paperback, Eye of the Whale offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and natural history as Dick Russell follows the migration of the gray whale from Mexico's Baja peninsula to the Arctic's Bering Strait. Originally named "Devil-fish' by nineteenth-century whalers, the gray whale's friendly overtures toward humans over the past generation helped to spark the growth of today's whale-watching industry. This majestic marine mammal has also become a focus of controversy, as environmentalists fought to protect its breeding area from industrial development, some protested renewed hunting by a Native American tribe, and, more recently, scientific studies have noted a new decline in the whale's population. Russell's narrative interweaves the remarkable story of Charles Melville Scammon, a nineteenth-century whaling captain responsible for bringing gray whales to the brink of extinction, whose change of heart led to his becoming a renowned naturalist. Retracing Scammon's path, the author encounters contemporary marine biologists who have devoted their lives to studying the gray whale, and native peoples for whom subsistence whale hunting means survival in the most remote regions of the North Pacific. Called "an extraordinary book" by The Washington Post, Eye of the Whale is a stirring account of a creature that is changing our consciousness about the relationship between human beings and the animal kingdom.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Eye of the Whale: Epic Passage From Baja To Siberia

User Review  - Gloria - Goodreads

Took a long time to read because of the amount of detail and the anger I felt regarding whaling tactics historically and now. I had to put the book down more than once. Overall, very well done. Read full review

Review: Eye of the Whale: Epic Passage From Baja To Siberia

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

This is a marvelous natural, economic, and cultural history. Beginning in a small lagoon in Baja California, taking us around the world. It will open your eyes. Keep them open. I mean today. Always. Read full review

Contents

Part One
17
Whales of Passage
19
Close Encounter at San Ignacio Lagoon
29
The Whaler Who Became a Naturalist
54
The Poet and the Saltworks War
66
Hunting the Gray Whale
91
Chapter A Tribal Elder and the Gray Whales
114
Return to La Laguna
136
Life on the Edge
411
Last of the Western Grays
430
Breakthrough Across Troubled Waters
465
Catastrophe in Chukotka
477
End of the Expedition
508
Part Three
515
Christopher Reeve and the Gray Whale
517
Scientific Puzzles in San Diego
536

Journey to the Pillars of Salt
159
The Scientist and the Artist
179
Echoes from Magdalena
197
Orcas and Grays Along the Shores of Monterey
221
Scholars of the Great Migration
249
The Kill
273
Whalemen of Vancouver Island
293
Part Two
315
Beginnings
317
Kenai Kodiak and Unimak Pass
337
Into the Bering
359
Mysterious Evolutions
559
Scammons Legacy
583
Victory at San Ignacio Lagoon
608
An Uncertain Future
625
Notes
635
Other Sources Consulted
655
Useful Web Sites
657
Acknowledgments
659
Index
663
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Dick Russell, a longtime environmental journalist, is a recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award and the author of The Man Who Knew Too Much (Carroll & Graf, 2003) and Black Genius: And the American Experience (Carroll & Graf,1999). He divides his time between Los Angeles and Boston

Bibliographic information