- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Washington Square Press; 34819th edition (July 30, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743400690
- ISBN-13: 978-0743400695
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 169 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook Paperback – July 30, 2002
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About the Author
Martin Dugard is the author of Knockdown: The Harrowing True Account of a Yacht Race Turned Deadly and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Survivor: The Ultimate Game. His dispatches have appeared in GQ, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire. An avid adventurer, Dugard has completed the Raid Gauloises race three times, and is co-holder of the Around the World Speed Record. He lives with his wife and three children in Orange County, California.
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The book has a few weaknesses as well. The author gratuitously inserts himself into the narrative at times, so we are forced to endure a description of Dugard staring into the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island (where Cook's first exploration vessel was eventually sunk), and Dugard wandering through London in search of Cook's family home. Dugard is more of a journalist than a historian, and he seems to be one of his own favorite subjects. Dugard also fancies himself a skilled psychologist, claiming to understand Cook's psychological state at different points in his life with the sketchiest of supporting evidence. The latter parts of the book are surprisingly unsympathetic to Cook.
Dugard also commits a few significant factual errors. He wrongly describes Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia as "kingdoms," when those terms were simply a misguided 19th century attempt to classify hundreds or thousands of distinct cultures into simplistic buckets. Similarly, he promotes the discredited theory that Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui) was first settled by South Americans: it is virutally certain that the island was settled solely by Polynesians, and there is no archeological evidence that the famous statues were built by anyone but Polynesians. Perhaps Dugard was influenced by the crackpot theories of Thor Heyerdahl, or perhaps he was gulled by uninformed popular myths. The result is that the book contains "fake science" that would have been avoided by reviewing the current scientific literature.