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Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
NATHANIEL PHILBRICK

Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick
73 reviews (2004) (416p)
ALA Notable Books - Nonfiction Finalist

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Book 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 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, and much more.


Amazon.com Review
The expeditions of Magellan, Columbus, and Lewis and Clark have been well documented and are instantly familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in world history. But the average person is likely unaware of the U.S. Exploring Expedition or its mercurial leader, Charles Wilkes. This despite the numerous accomplishments and lasting legacy of the massive four-year project that involved six ships and hundreds of men. The "Ex. Ex.," as it came to be known, is credited with the discovery of Antarctica, the first accurate charting of what is now Oregon and Washington, the retrieval of thousands of new species of life, and the foundation of the Smithsonian Institution. Yet when Wilkes returned, instead of being hailed as a great man of science or a national hero, he was shunned by the President, ignored by the press, and was the subject of so much ill will on the part of his men that he was ultimately put on trial for a variety of offenses. In the portrayal presented in Nathaniel Philbrick's Sea of Glory, Wilkes is a passionate man, brash and enthusiastic, driven by seemingly impossible goals, many of which he actually accomplished. But he's also a petty, mean-spirited loner, egotistical enough to unilaterally give himself a promotion in the middle of the expedition. Without Wilkes' singularity of purpose, it's hard to imagine the mission being as successful as it was, but it's also hard to conceive a personality more poorly suited to leadership than the near-universally-despised Wilkes. Philbrick also skillfully reveals the insecurity behind the tyranny in excerpts from letters to Wilkes' wife, Jane. The accounts of the expedition's adventures are at various times exhilarating and tragic as the crew scales the volcanoes of Hawaii, becomes involved in a bloody war with Fijian natives, and struggles merely to stay alive while at the same time not killing Wilkes. Philbrick's compelling narrative and meticulous research provide a vivid picture of the triumphs and hardships of the exploration age. --John Moe


Other Award Winning Books by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick
175 reviews (2010) (496p) (ALA Non)
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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
621 reviews (2006) (480p) (PP His) (NYTimes Non) (ALA Non)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
973 reviews (2000) (320p) (NBA Non) (TIME Non) (Amazon Dec CHis) (Amazon 00 C50)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Nathaniel Philbrick Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 5  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 4  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 1 Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 1 In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex ·  
National Book Award Nominations 1 In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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