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Short Synopsis
This is the epic history of the "iron men in wooden boats" who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales. Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise of the burgeoning whaling industry to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. Containing a wealth of naturalistic detail on whales, Leviathan is the most original and stirring history of American whaling in many decades.

Full Synopsis
This is the epic history of the "iron men in wooden boats" who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales.

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme," Herman Melville proclaimed, and this absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling. Eric Jay Dolin begins his vivid narrative with Captain John Smith's botched whaling expedition to the New World in 1614. He then chronicles the rise of a burgeoning industry—from its brutal struggles during the Revolutionary period to its golden age in the mid-1800s, when a fleet of more than 700 ships hunted the seas and American whale oil lit the world—to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs. Containing a wealth of naturalistic detail on whales, Leviathan is the most original and stirring history of American whaling in many decades.

"An exhaustive, richly detailed history of industrial American whaling.... A real taste of the vile life aboard a whaleship and a cleareyed analysis of the cutthroat tactics of the whale-oil trade." ---The New York Times

"Eric Jay Dolin's Leviathan is the best history of American whaling to come along in a generation." ---Nathaniel Philbrick

"Engrossing…. This account is at once grand and quirky, entertaining and informative." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"James Boles reads this well-organized history with a steadiness and clarity that keeps you listening." ---AudioFile

"This is a lively and thorough history, with the author well-suited to sort out the fish tales and the sometimes ugly truths of a violent, pressure-filled venture" ---The Boston Globe

"The excitement of the stories in this magnificently researched saga build and build...I read every word." ---Dava Sobel, author of Longitude
Boston Globe Best Book of 2007

Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Amazon Best Book

Leviathan

The History of Whaling in America

Author Eric Jay Dolin

Narrated by James Boles

Publication date Jul 16, 2007

Running time 16 hrs

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