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

4.4 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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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: 712 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (September 13, 2001)
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2001
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031OQ0K6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By A Customer on January 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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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