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The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty Paperback – May 25, 2004
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The traditional view of things (i.e. the one you `know' from the movie versions) has Bligh as a torturer, the famous Fletcher Christian as a defender of the ordinary sailor's rights, and Heywood as an innocent bystander. Through careful reading of seemingly every contemporary document-including every bit of the trial transcripts-Alexander subverts the story to one of privilege rebelling against authority: whereas Bligh came from a family of extremely modest means, Christian and Heywood both came from old and well-connected families who, after the courtmartial, ensured their own good names by besmirching Bligh's.
This is not sensational journalism but careful scholarship, and even if you don't agree with Alexander's `take' on the subject, you will enjoy hearing the sailor's own first-person narratives, as well as Alexander's careful reconstruction of what actually occurred.
This book was nominated for the National Book Critic's Circle award for non-fiction; it was richly deserved. "HMS Bounty" receives my highest endorsement as well!
Finally, we have a wonderful new book on the subject. "The Bounty" could not have been a more enjoyable, and fascinating reading experience. I am still depressed the book is finished.
The book tells as true a story of the muntiny as one could expect. It was not,of course, like the old "Bounty Trilogy," but it was written as well, and told a wonderful non-fictionl account of the events. I learned more background, and the fate of the crew and others involved in the mutiny. The section on the court martial was extremely interesting.
I think this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The chapters describing the court-martial kept me up until the wee hours. Alexander's description of the captured mutineers' ordeal, sourced from, and coloured by, a mind-bogglingly vast pile of primary sources, is a gripping account of what it would be like to have your life depend on the opinions of 12 British naval officers at the end of the 18th century. That the mutineers' hopes and fears, as they passed daily beneath the yardarms from which three of them would eventually be hanged, mattered so much to me that I lost sleep over them is a testament to the author's art.
Anyone offering a postmodernist rant against this type of history should be smacked on the side of the head with Alexander's 450+ page book.
Alexander uncovers the elaborate webs of allegiance and interest that underscored the Bounty's mission, her crew, their mutiny, the court-martial, and the various smear campaigns that followed. This last in particular amazed me, I had no idea that so many of the Bounty's crew had published their own accounts of the mutiny.
The author also reveals the important roles various women played in events. Apart from the "seductions of Tahiti," as Alexander puts it, I had never known that women were such an integral part of the Bounty story. In her final chapter, Alexander mentions that there were frequently women aboard British men-of-war, though they weren't usually listed in the ships' books. O'Brian knew this and wrote women onto ships in various tomes of his Aubrey-Maturin series, though the film "Master and Commander" leaves them out of the picture.Read more ›
I enjoyed being taken back to Tahiti, having read several books of Cook's voyages, and enjoyed reading of the mutiny, the sailors involved, and what eventually happened to the mutineers. I was, however, disappointed that I found myself in a book that reads more as a courtroom drama than adventure on the high seas. I wish Alexander had spent more time and detail on the open boat voyage and the mysterious malaise that eventually struck several who survived it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very accurate telling of the true story behind the mutiny. Gives a very detailed account of all those present on the Bounty and what happened to them after the incident. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have to give five stars to a history book so wide-ranging and well researched, but I have some problems with it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ancient Bookworm
Being a real Bounty fan, I found this a very good and extremely well documented (20% of the book is bibliography) story of what happened not only on the Bounty, but to the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by James Vigneau
I bought this book hoping for the true story. It surely delivers that. The first half of the book is very interesting and an easy read. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Stephen Bova
Tremendous detail, answered all the questions I had about the saga. Maybe a little over detail in places, but you wouldn't finish the book wondering what happened to so-in-so.Published 9 months ago by Charles J. Spasaro