The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush by David IglerThe Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush by David Igler

The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush

byDavid Igler

Paperback | December 22, 2016

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Winner of the John Lyman Book Award for U.S. Maritime History of the North American Society for Oceanic History.The Pacific of the early eighteenth century was not a single ocean but a vast and varied waterscape, a place of baffling complexity, with 25,000 islands and seemingly endless continental shorelines. But with the voyages of Captain James Cook, global attention turned to the Pacific, and European andAmerican dreams of scientific exploration, trade, and empire grew dramatically. By the time of the California gold rush, the Pacific's many shores were fully integrated into world markets - and world consciousness.The Great Ocean draws on hundreds of documented voyages - some painstakingly recorded by participants, some only known by archeological remains or indigenous memory - as a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following Cook's exploits, focusing in particular on the easternPacific in the decades between the 1770s and the 1840s. Beginning with the expansion of trade as seen via the travels of William Shaler, captain of the American Brig Lelia Byrd, historian David Igler uncovers a world where voyagers, traders, hunters, and native peoples met one another in episodesoften marked by violence and tragedy. Igler describes how indigenous communities struggled against introduced diseases that cut through the heart of their communities; how the ordeal of Russian Timofei Tarakanov typified the common practice of taking hostages and prisoners; how Mary Brewsterwitnessed first-hand the bloody "great hunt" that decimated otters, seals, and whales; how Adelbert von Chamisso scoured the region, carefully compiling his notes on natural history; and how James Dwight Dana rivaled Charles Darwin in his pursuit of knowledge on a global scale.These stories - and the historical themes that tie them together - offer a fresh perspective on the oceanic worlds of the eastern Pacific. Ambitious and broadly conceived, The Great Ocean is the first book to weave together American, oceanic, and world history in a path-breaking portrait of thePacific world.
David Igler is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. His books include Industrial Cowboys: Miller and Lux and the Transformation of the Far West, 1850-1920 and The Human Tradition in California.
Title:The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold RushFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:December 22, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190498757

ISBN - 13:9780190498757


Editorial Reviews

"David Igler's The Great Ocean is a majestic contribution to the globalizing of American history, and an original, environmentally-informed peregrination around North and South America, Oceania, and Asia. Igler follows traders and merchants, epidemic plagues, the slaughter and near decimationof marine mammals, captives and hostages, and the nineteenth-century articulation of a truly Pacific-based natural history of geology, oceanography, climatology, and American empire. It is an allusive work, engaging, richly detailed, and full of compelling stories that change our understanding oflife across generations, in and around the world's greatest ocean." --Matt K. Matsuda, Rutgers University