In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Front Cover
Penguin, May 1, 2001 - History - 302 pages
75 Reviews
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, and directed by Ron Howard.

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship's cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.
  

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A great story and wonderful storytelling. - LibraryThing
That was hard to read. - LibraryThing
Excellent illustrations and maps. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - Ma_Washigeri - LibraryThing

There are experiments going on such as the Mars500 project where a number of people have been sealed into a mock-up of a spaceship for 520 days - to finish November 2011. From reading this book it ... Read full review

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User Review  - bke - LibraryThing

Evidently, the story of the Essex was once well known. It was the inspiration for Melville's Moby Dick and a version could be found in McGuffey's readers. I have to admit I had not heard of it. The ... Read full review

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Contents

Nantucket
1
Knockdown
28
First Blood
44
The Lees of Fire
62
The Attack
77
The Plan
92
At Sea
104
Centering Down
123
Games of Chance
164
In the Eagles Shadow
177
Homecoming
190
Consequences
207
Bones
230
Notes
239
Select Bibliography
279
Acknowledgments
291

The Island
135
The Whisper of Necessity
151
Index
294
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University's first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at "Sailing World" magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including "The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind," and "Yaahting: A Parody."
In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. In 1994, he published his first book about the island's history, "Away Off Shore," followed by a study of the Nantucket's native legacy, "Abram's Eyes." He was the founding director of Nantucket's Egan Maritime Institute and is still a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.
In 2000, Philbrick published the "New York Times" bestseller "In the Heart of the Sea, "which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the forthcoming Warner Bros. motion picture "Heart of the Sea," directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland, which is scheduled for release in March, 2015. The book also inspired a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS American Experience film "Into the Deep" by Ric Burns.
His next book was "Sea of Glory," published in 2003, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. The New York Times Bestseller "Mayflower "was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the "Los Angeles Times" Book Award, won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one the ten Best Books of 2006 by the "New York Times Book Review." "Mayflower" is currently in development as a limited series on FX.
In 2010, he published the "New York Times" bestseller "The Last Stand," which was named a "New York Times" Notable book, a 2010 Montana Book Award Honor Book, and a 2011 ALA Notable Book. Philbrick was an on-camera consultant to the two-hour PBS American Experience film "Custer's Last Stand" by Stephen Ives. The book is currently being adapted for a ten-hour, multi-part television series. The audio book for Philbrick's "Why Read Moby-Dick?" (2011) made the ALA's Listen List in 2012 and was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award.
Philbrick's latest "New York Times" bestseller, "Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution," was published in 2013 and was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award. "Bunker Hill" won the 2014 book award from the Society of Colonial Wars, and has been optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film adaptation with Ben Affleck attached to direct.
Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, and the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society. He was named the 2011 Cushing Orator by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and has an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he delivered the commencement address in 2009.
Philbrick's writing has appeared in "Vanity Fair," the "New York Times Book Review," the "Wall Street Journal," the "Los Angeles Times," and the" Boston Globe." He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBS's American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife still live on Nantucket.

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