In a vivid, often hilarious narrative, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Confederates In the Attic' retraces the great voyages of Captain James Cook, the British farmboy who drew the map of the modern world.
Captain James Cook's three epic journeys in the eighteenth century were the last great voyages of discovery. His ships sailed some 150,000 miles, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from Tasmania to Oregon, from Easter Island to Siberia.
Before Cook set off for the Pacific in 1768, one third of the globe remained blank. By the time of his violent death in Hawaii in 1779, there was little left to discover and the map of the world was substantially complete.
Tony Horwitz vividly recounts Cook's voyages and the exotic scenes he encountered: tropical orgies, taboo rituals, human sacrifice, hip-throbbing Tahitian dancers, New Zealand cannibals, Hawaiian surfers, and Australian Aborigines sealed off from the rest of the world for thousands of years. He also explores Cook the man: an impoverished farmboy who broke through the barriers of his class and time to become the greatest navigator in history.
More than two centuries on, Tony Horwitz travels the world in the captain's wake in a quest to uncover Cook's legacy. Along the way, he narrowly avoids shipwreck on the Bora Bora reef, travels to remote beer-swilling cyclone-wracked crocodile-infested outposts, uncovers the conspiracy of the red banana, dons a wig and britches in Tahiti, and survives turkey curry in Middlesbrough and gale-force winds on the deck of a week-long Alaskan ferry ride.
By turns harrowing and hilarious, insightful and entertaining, 'Into The Blue' brings to life a man whose voyages have left an indelible mark on the world as we know it today.