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Voyage of American Promise Hardcover – June 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T); First Edition edition (June 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395440963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395440964
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Day 92: "I find these days moving by like the legs of a spent runner." Three days later Dodge Morgan sailed into a tropical cyclone in the Southern Pacific Ocean and in the next 24 hours made 175 nautical miles under bare poles. Morgan's nonstop solo circumnavigation of the globe, east to west, was a series of chills and thrills, ups and downs, and the fulfillment of a dream. At age 53, retired and financially secure, he commissioned the design and construction of a boat that, with back-up systems and state-of-the art mechanical and electrical equipment, could withstand six months of continuous sailing under any condition. American Promise, a 60-foot cutter, was completed in less than nine months, and in October 1985, Morgan set out from Portland, Maine, only to limp in to Bermuda when the self-steering gear failed. After repairs, he set out again, and returned triumphant to Bermuda a record-breaking 150 days later. This is first-class adventure for salts and landlubbers alike. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel A. Richman on July 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No question the author made a difficult trip (in his custom-made, multi-million-dollar boat). I did appreciate the detailed appendices and information throughout the text.

And -- I found his writing style primitive and his observations and insights embarrassingly simple-minded. His frequent references to masturbating, horniness and the sexuality of the sea made me queasy.

His rampant egotism is apparent on nearly every page, including photos of him pumping his fists into the air and his self-congratulatory calling himself by his first name ("You have done it, Dodge! You have done it!").

I'm happy to have this book on my shelf for future technical reference. But for a far better read about a man making a long passage and reflecting on his life, try "Sea Change: Alone Across the Pacific," by Peter Nichols.
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By frankv on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a sailor who sails in Maine this book is a great read and definitely intrigues me about this captain and his ventures.
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Format: Paperback
This book is much better than the previous reviews imply. There is the matter of the ego of a man who would sail around the world on a small boat (60 ft) by himself, and in the process shatter the speed record for doing so. Yes - the ego is there in many pages, but in light of the excellent treatise he has written about sailing in the Southern Ocean, and in consideration of the insight he has given to those who would follow, a little ego can be dismissed. Simple minded? Hardly. The writing style is on par with (pick a novelist) - maybe Dean Koonz. It's quite engaging, and is directed towards that segment of the general public that has an interest in sailing (whether its dreaming of someday - or living the life vicariously). No one without the necessary grin and a tongue in his cheek could expect Dodge to employ some classical literary style of writing in order to chronicle his experiences. The style he uses is balanced for readability and clarity.

His presentation of what has been referred to as "erotica" was, I am sure, simply comments about dream sequences accompanying his living conditions. There are few of those, far between.

I disagree that this is a treatise that delves significantly into the meat of the matter of loneliness and/or solitude. I think his remarks about those subjects, liberally sprinkled into the text, are simply revelations of the facts of life aboard a craft in the middle of nowhere, put to paper in a manner similar to the way Joshua Slocum did it, as the world's original solo circumnavigator described those same feelings.

The power of the book lies in its purpose, being a great technical resource for those who might dare to taunt the Southern Ocean, and being at the same time a very entertaining, sometimes suspenseful, work of prose.
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By part time sailor on March 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not only an excellent sailing story, but a great adventure story and an interesting psychological perspective on long periods of solitude and self-examination.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Dodge speaks well of the sea and the solitude it can create as he circumnavigates the oceans. His log maintains an even keel inspite of the turmoil at sea. For the uninitiated, American Promise is a strange setting for soul searching and learning to love. Well done Dodge.
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