Though comparable in importance and breadth of success to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Ex. Ex. has been largely forgotten. Now, the celebrated Nathaniel Philbrick recreates this chapter of American maritime history in all its triumph and scandal.
Like the award-winning In the Heart of the Sea, Sea of Glory combines meticulous history with spellbinding human drama as it circles the globe from the palm-fringed beaches of the South Pacific to the treacherous waters off Antarctica and to the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and, finally, to a court-martial aboard a ship anchored off New York City.
©2003 Nathaniel Philbrick; (P)2003 Penguin Audiobooks
"A breathtaking account of one of history's greatest adventures." (Entertainment Weekly)
If you like historical non-fiction about interesting expeditions, this should be a good listen (I read the paper version). Lt. Wilkes is a classic flawed leader, aloof, somewhat cruel, but his determination drove his crew on a great voyage though he struggled for notoriety. The amazing collection of artifacts that Wilkes brought home formed the foundation of the Smithsonian collection. I really like the detail of maritime life circa 1840, and Philbrick delivers. His writing makes even provisioning ships interesting. His previous book "Heart of the Sea" was a bit more gripping (albeit more harsh), but "Sea of Glory" is a very good book by a great historical writer.
The Good – I am amazed that I never had heard of the ExEx before this book. Very disappointed in our public education system for that. From a purely historic point of view I liked the book. I liked learning about the expedition because I needed to learn about something so monumental. I made a few book marks for reference that I can return to later, but overall the book just didn’t give me what I had expected.
The Not So Good – To be fair I’m going to have to give this book a second listen, but on first pass it just lacks something. The book told a lot of the human stories, but didn’t tell much of the science stories at least not in much detail. The author went through great pains to explain in telling detail why a certain officer did a certain thing, but he didn’t go into much story telling about the science discoveries. This really didn’t strike me until the end of the book where he listed the hundreds of samples the expedition brought back with them. It left me saying; “why didn’t you tell more about those samples and how and where they came from?" I'm not sure if I should follow that question with an "ugh!" or a "duh!"?
The Narration - Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators, but for some reason I don’t think he was the right fit for this particular book’s writing style. Not that it was bad by any measure, but I think someone with a deeper voice and slower cadence could have made the book more interesting? Perhaps a Brit don't you know? Although I’m sure someone would take umbrage to that given the national pride of the subject matter.
The Overall – Sea of Glory is okay and was fairly good overall. I definitely learned something, which I always appreciate. I will listen to it again to see if I missed something that would push my rating a bit higher, but I'm not sure that will happen. In closing, I’m not disappointed by the book, but I’m not overjoyed by it either.
very good narration gave meaning to the words
yes as Nathaniel Philbrick is one of my favorite history authors writing style is superb. This topic is probably his least known and that simply shouldn't be given the enormous contributions of the US Ex Ex.
Exploration of Antarctica
I had read the printed version of the book when it was new so this was a really good comparison for me. the audiobook was tougher to follow but that's usually true as compared to having the pages in your hand.
I really enjoyed this title. Some may find the level of detail of the voyage and what occurred daunting, but to me it was just right.
It's hard to say just how the author does it (good writing perhaps..), but somehow you feel swept away as if you were part of the expedition. Some of the passages were so captivating that I feel like I have actual memories of the events as if I were there at the time.
If you want to know about this fascinating chapter of history that remains surprisingly obscure, you will enjoy this audio book.
Excellent story, a lot of detail on the people involved, learnt a lot about this period in American history and the exploration of Antarctica and the Pacific
This is one of the first audio books that I've listened to, so it is hard to compare.
In The Heart of the Sea by the same author
The story of this voyage is almost forgotten by the American public. I'm gald I now know what went on during the voyage. Almost feel like I was there.
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