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Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook [Kindle Edition]

Martin Dugard
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $11.44
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Book Description

James Cook never laid eyes on the sea until he was in his teens. He then began an extraordinary rise from farmboy outsider to the hallowed rank of captain of the Royal Navy, leading three historic journeys that would forever link his name with fearless exploration (and inspire pop-culture heroes like Captain Hook and Captain James T. Kirk). In Farther Than Any Man, noted modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard strips away the myth of Cook and instead portrays a complex, conflicted man of tremendous ambition (at times to a fault), intellect (though Cook was routinely underestimated) and sheer hardheadedness.
When Great Britain announced a major circumnavigation in 1768 -- a mission cloaked in science, but aimed at the pursuit of world power -- it came as a political surprise that James Cook was given command. Cook's surveying skills had contributed to the British victory over France in the Seven Years' War in 1763, but no commoner had ever commanded a Royal Navy vessel. Endeavor's stunning three-year journey changed the face of modern exploration, charting the vast Pacific waters, the eastern coasts of New Zealand and Australia, and making landfall in Tahiti, Tierra del Fuego, and Rio de Janeiro.
After returning home a hero, Cook yearned to get back to sea. He soon took control of the Resolution and returned to his beloved Pacific, in search of the elusive Southern Continent. It was on this trip that Cook's taste for power became an obsession, and his legendary kindness to island natives became an expectation of worship -- traits that would lead him first to greatness, then to catastrophe.
Full of action, lush description, and fascinating historical characters like King George III and Master William Bligh, Dugard's gripping account of the life and gruesome demise of Capt. James Cook is a thrilling story of a discoverer hell-bent on traveling farther than any man.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a strong effort "to clear away the tangle of myth and hero-worship" that surrounds his subject, Dugard (Knockdown: The Harrowing True Account of a Yacht Race Turned Deadly), a well-known adventurer himself, deftly recounts the exciting story of James Cook, a farm boy from northern England who at first worked on merchant ships and then, when offered a chance to captain his own ship, turned his employer down and joined the Royal Navy. Cook started at the bottom and worked his way up, but knew he was not from the right social class to advance to captain. However, others recognized his talents: Cook was the first noncommissioned Royal Navy officer to be appointed to command a vessel. His trek with the Endeavour which began in 1768 and circumnavigated the globe, charted the coasts of New Zealand, scouted numerous Pacific isles and retrieved botanist Joseph Banks (who grew to respect Cook after trying to steal command of his ship) brought Cook international fame. Dugard recounts Cook's four-year voyage with the Resolution, which also sailed around the world while trying to locate the coasts of the legendary Southern Continent (Antarctica). By the end of this voyage, Dugard contends, Cook's ego had begun to get in the way of his talent. Thereafter, Cook began to make errors and became tyrannical at sea. This character change ultimately cost Cook his life when he was slain by Hawaiian natives. Well researched, with information from Cook's own journals, this fast-paced book brings to life the English explorer driven to outclass his predecessors and contemporaries.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Like Pizarro and Cortez, Capt. James Cook changed history by discovering unknown lands and opening them up to European settlement. Born to a farming family in 1729, Cook longed for a career at sea, apprenticed himself to a shipping company, and after nine years rose to the rank of captain in the merchant marine. On the verge of a profitable career, he resigned to enlist in the Royal Navy and soon became an officer an improbable feat in the 18th century. After service in Canada in the French and Indian War, he was given command of a survey ship and spent time charting eastern Canada. Later, he commanded three epic voyages to the South Pacific, in 1769, 1772, and 1776, discovering Tahiti, New Zealand, Tonga, New Caledonia, and many other islands. In 1779, he arrived at the Kona coast of the big island of Hawaii, where hostile natives killed, steamed, and ate him. There are few exemplary biographies of Cook, and Dugard has written a masterly one-volume account of the great explorer's life. It belongs in all public and academic libraries. Stanley L. Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1923 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743400690
  • Publisher: Atria Books (September 13, 2001)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031OQ0K6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,237 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures of a Real Adventurer June 4, 2001
The biography _Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook_ (Pocket Books) by Martin Dugard tells the story of the man who was arguably the greatest adventurer in the world. It is an amazing story of a driven man who repeatedly accomplished the impossible. For instance, it was simply not possible for Cook to become a Captain in the Royal Navy, as he was a farmhand's son with no pull. He worked nine years in the commercial fleet in the North Sea, and against the judgement of everyone, halted a promising career to go to the bottom of the ranks in the Royal Navy. He again worked swiftly up the ranks, but had no chance of becoming an officer. Only the scheming of a scientist, a Lord, and King George III got him a commission, to go on a circumnavigation for a particular astronomical observation in Tahiti.
Cook commanded three circumnavigations, and racked up an impressive record, sailing farther north and farther south than anyone had. He found and charted new islands throughout the Pacific. He was an exemplary commander, a brilliant shiphandler who was reluctant to use the lash on his men. He also pioneered the use of an anti-scurvy diet that kept his men healthy. He kept close notes on the tribes he encountered and in the beginning, at least, had profitable and friendly relations with them. Eventually, worn out from adventuring, and not at home either in England or in what he wished to be a paradise of the Pacific, he became frustrated, and his frustration led directly to difficulties on his command, and in his death at the hands of the Sandwich Islanders.
Cook emerges from these pages as a complex figure, a flawed hero who can justly be called the greatest adventurer in history. The book includes fascinating accounts of naval facts, like what the sailors ate and by what means they were punished at sea. The way Dugard has told the story it is by turns exciting, comic, inspiring, and sad, and the narrative never flags.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A journalist's jolly jaunt December 11, 2002
Dugard's account of the life of explorer James Cook is a light, easily read introduction to England's greatest explorer. Dugard stresses the travails of a man of humble beginnings who, through force of his own will and some fortuitous connections garnered command of the first solo expedition into the South Pacific. He describes Cook's early voyages on colliers, moving on to his decade-long exploration of the Newfoundland coasts. Lured away by the glories of the Royal Navy, Cook entered that force as a lowly seaman but rose rapidly to junior officer due to his cartography skills and forceful sense of drive.
Dugard dubs Cook "the original adventurer." Other expeditions had concentrated on map-ping coastlines along regularly used routes or finding harbours to serve as sanctuaries or supply bases. Cook's voyage in the Endeavour was the first journey dedicated to scientific studies. Cook's mandate was to convey a team of scientists to Tahiti. There they would study the rare phenomenon of Venus' transit across the face of the sun, adding to the navigator's store of tools. From that mid-Pacific isle, however, Cook was free to seek the legendary Southern Continent, particularly Antarctica. Given a mandate to wander the Pacific, Cook found yet another landmass, the island continent of Australia.
Dugard portrays Cook as impelled by several ambitions. To become the premier explorer of the Pacific, to bask in the adoration of its peoples, and show Britain's class-bound society that the son of a farm labourer was the equal of any aristocrat. He achieved all these aims, but at the usual cost to a man overcome by hubris. He went too far, barely staving off mutiny by a crew that adored him. In the end, of course, an act of arrogance cost him his life in Hawaii.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Every Journey needs a beginning October 4, 2003
By no means a definitive account of Cook's life, but certainly a readable introduction to the legacy of this man.
Martin Dugard has touched lightly on many of the pressures Cook must surely have felt - His family, his birthright and position in society, his ambition, the relationship with his father, England's position in the World and the birth of Empire. It would be impossible to do all of this justice in just 300 pages, and I don't believe that Dugard is really attempting to. Instead, he offers the topics like a light buffet - take what you want, go and look for more on what interests you.
This informal style, laced with conjecture as to conversations or motives, will infuriate the purist historians. This book will also not appeal to those who hold Cook up as a definitive British hero. The author speculates on Cook's rationales and motives, but the message clear: Cook did indeed go father than any man. He led the world into a new era, both through his geographical discoveries and the courage he displayed in attaining them.
French Navigator Jean-François de Galaup de La Pérouse said of Cook that his work was so all-encompassing, there was little for his successors to do but admire it. This is not an all-encompassing account of Cook, but an easy place to begin your own voyage of discovery.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A CANNIBALIZED COOK BOOK January 16, 2002
The publishers of this book suggest a genre classification of ADVENTURE/BIOGRAPHY. One thing is for sure; it is not a history book. It is, instead, a garbled, confused and at times, barely literate attempt at writing a psychodrama based on the life of that most famous of navigators, Captain James Cook.
You would think an author who wants to write about voyages of discovery, and purports to have done his research by following his subject's tracks around the globe would have his basic geography under control. We have Dugard wandering around London (UK) not knowing what side of the Thames River he is on. He takes us on a walk from the Deptford Docks near Greenwich (on the south bank) to Cook's house in the East End of London, without crossing the river! He takes us along famous London thoroughfares like Regency (sic) Street and Savile (sic once again) Row.
You would hope a book like this might have some useful maps. There is an attempt at one. Right up front of the book we get a chart of the world showing the tracks of the ships taken in Cook's three voyages. This map however is totally useless. The essence of Cook's peregrination around the Pacific saw him often crossing his paths and doubling back. The map in this book has tracks without arrows. You can't tell where he's come from or where he's going!
Dugard's inventiveness really comes into its own when he attempts to go inside the head of Cook. He gives us the passionate details of his relationship with his wife Elizabeth. The fact that Mrs Cook burnt all her correspondence with her husband before she died, and the total lack of details in Cook's own records of his personal life is a real convenience for the imaginative author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on a great man...
I've read quite a few books about Cook . I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dugard's. I'm a fan of all of his books. Read more
Published 2 days ago by L. Caminiti
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book. Lots more details than The Explorers, but inspiring nonetheless...
Published 13 days ago by JR in Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Martin Dugard continues to show his prowess as a historian with the gift of writing.
Published 1 month ago by SLB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 1 month ago by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely written, incredible detailed accounts of James Cook
I very much enjoyed this history and story of James Cook. His drive for discovery and documentation is captured in an entertaining enjoyable read.
Published 2 months ago by Natha Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by TomHamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars I like all of Martin Dugard's books that I have read ...
I like all of Martin Dugard's books that I have read so far. They make history fascinating and make you feel as though you really know their subjects. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Phyllis A. Lockhart
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
what a man.
Published 2 months ago by Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the feeling of sailing around unknown seas with this ...
Very well written, riveting and well worth the time spent to read. I loved the feeling of sailing
around unknown seas with this bold captain. Read more
Published 2 months ago by ROSANNE BUSCH
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book. Well done and very historically correct.
Published 3 months ago by Jandy
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More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Martin Dugard is the co-author (with Bill O'Reilly) of Killing Jesus, Killing Kennedy, Killing Lincoln and Killing Patton. These four books have sold more than eight million copies.

In addition to history, Dugard specializes in chronicling the drive of great men to realize their potential. This can be seen in his trilogy on endurance sports: Surviving the Toughest Race on Earth (McGraw-Hill, 1998); Chasing Lance (Little, Brown; 2005), and To Be A Runner, is an inspiring and informational series of essays written from the viewpoint of Dugard's forty years as a distance runner.

Dugard's other books include The Murder of King Tut (co-written with bestselling author James Patterson), which saw Dugard travel to Egypt to unravel the centuries-old mystery of who murdered Tutankhamen, Egypt 's legendary boy king; The Training Ground (Little, Brown, 2008), the riveting saga of America's great Civil War generals during the Mexican War, when they were scared young lieutenants first learning the ways of war; The Last Voyage of Columbus (Little, Brown; 2005), Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone (Doubleday, 2003), Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook (Pocket Books, 2001), and Knockdown (Pocket Books, 1999).

For the past eight years he has also put that knowledge to good use by spending his afternoons as the head cross-country and track coach at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California. His teams have qualified for the California State Championships four years in a row, and his girls team won the state title in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

He has also co-written three books with Mark Burnett, creator of Survivor and The Apprentice.

Dugard recently wrote and produced A Warrior's Heart, a coming-of-age film based around the sport of lacrosse. A Warrior's Heart stars Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene.

An adventurer himself, Dugard regularly immerses himself in his research to understand characters and their motivations better. To better understand Columbus he traveled through Spain , the Caribbean, Central America, and sailed from Genoa to Spain aboard a tall ship in the manner of the great navigator. He followed Henry Morton Stanley's path across Tanzania while researching Into Africa (managing to get thrown into an African prison in the process), and swam in the tiger shark-infested waters of Hawaii 's Kealakekua Bay to recreate Captain James Cook's death for Farther Than Any Man.

Dugard competed in the Raid Gauloises endurance race three times, ran with the bulls in Pamplona on two occasions, and flew around the world at twice the speed of sound aboard an Air France Concorde. The time of 31 hours and 28 minutes set a world record for global circumnavigation. Dugard's magazine writing has appeared in Esquire, Outside, Sports Illustrated, and GQ, among others.

Martin Dugard lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and three sons.

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