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Cook : The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook,
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This review is from: Cook : The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook (Hardcover)
This is a blow by blow of all three round-the-world voyages James Cook made in the 18th century. I find it much easier to read than the original material which the author often quotes. Our language today, at least in America, is not as "foreign" as English in England in the 18th century. The author makes relatively deep ananlyses of the various cultures Cook and his men ran into during his travels. For example, he had long stays at Tonga and Tahiti, so he became close to many of those islands' people. He also had artists on all his journeys, and they conveyed much visual graphics of the people and their residences. The book is only a couple of years old, so the author compares some current descriptions of various elements of culture and places to help the modern reader understand what Cook and his crew experienced. I highly recommend Cook to anyone interested in early exploration of the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. A good follow-on book is Stephen Bown's "Madness, Betrayal, and the Lash," a description of Captain George Vancouver's trip to the Pacific Northwest in search for the Northwest Passage. Vancouver served on Cook's last voyage, and made a short trip with Cook to the Northwest. I found Vancouver's trips interesting. I'm familiar with most of the geography and places he describes and became fascinated with what he found and what today we know was just out of his reach. I've lived on the West Coast of America most my life and found the author's descriptions to be interesting when compared to what I see today.