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

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9780142004838: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
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"A treasure of a book."—David McCullough

The harrowing story of a pathbreaking naval expedition that set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean, dwarfing Lewis and Clark with its discoveries, from the New York Times bestselling author of Valiant Ambition and In the Hurricane's Eye.

A New York Times Notable Book

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. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has—until now—been relegated to a footnote in the national memory.

Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize

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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

About the Author:

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award; Mayflower, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award; Sea of Glory; The Last Stand; Why Read Moby Dick?; and Away Off Shore. He lives in Nantucket. His latest book is Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780670032310: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

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ISBN 10:  067003231X ISBN 13:  9780670032310
Publisher: Viking, 2003
Hardcover

9780754095552: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.s. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

Chivers, 2004
Hardcover

9780606334693: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.s. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

Demco ..., 2004
Softcover

9780965242059: Sea Of Glory - America's Voyage Of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition

Pengui..., 2003
Softcover

9780786258567: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage Of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

Thornd..., 2004
Hardcover

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Book Description Softcover. Condition: New. The U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842 was one of the most ambitious undertakings of the nineteenth century and one of the largest voyages of discovery the Western world had ever seen - six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds that included botanists, geologists, mapmakers, and biologists, all under the command of the young, brash Lieutenant Charles Wilkes. Their goal was to cover the Pacific Ocean, top to bottom, and to plant the American flag around the world. Four years after embarking, they returned to the United States having accomplished this and much more. They discovered a new southern continent, which Wilkes would name Antarctica. They were the first Americans to survey the treacherous Columbia River, the first to chart dozens of newly discovered islands all across the Pacific. They explored volcanoes in Hawaii, confirmed Charles Darwin's theory of the formation of coral atoll, and collected thousands of specimens that eventually became the foundation of the Smithsonian's scientific collections. Seller Inventory # 5793176

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 2006. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Student ed.. Language: English. Brand new. Traces the 1838 discovery voyage that resulted in the western world's survey of 87,000 ocean miles, 280 Pacific islands, numerous zoological discoveries, and the finding of Antarctica, a journey that was marked by tragic deaths, the losses of two ships, and controversial court martials. Reprint. Seller Inventory # ABZ9780142004838

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Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 480 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.3in. x 1.2in.Americas first frontier was not the West; it was the seaand 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 seenthe 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 Oceanand ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution, and much more. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780142004838

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Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 2006. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Student ed.. Language: English. Brand new. Traces the 1838 discovery voyage that resulted in the western world's survey of 87,000 ocean miles, 280 Pacific islands, numerous zoological discoveries, and the finding of Antarctica, a journey that was marked by tragic deaths, the losses of two ships, and controversial court martials. Reprint. Seller Inventory # ABZ9780142004838

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