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Publisher's Summary

In the annals of seafaring and exploration, there is one name that immediately evokes visions of the open ocean, billowing sails, visiting strange, exotic lands previously uncharted, and civilizations never before encountered - Captain James Cook.

This is the true story of a legendary man and explorer. Noted modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard, using James Cook's personal journals, strips away the myths surrounding Cook's life and portrays his tremendous ambition, intellect, and sheer hardheadedness to rise through the ranks of the Royal Navy - and by his courageous exploits become one of the most enduring figures in naval history.

Full of realistic action, lush descriptions of places and events, and fascinating historical characters such as King George III and the soon-to-be-notorious Master William Bligh, Dugard's gripping account of the life and death of Captain James Cook is a thrilling story of a discoverer hell-bent on going farther than any man.

©2001 Martin Dugard (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A thoroughly readable biography of the famed sea captain and explorer.... [General readers are] likely to enjoy Dugard's well-made narrative, and to come away sharing his abundant admiration for the admirable - and ultimately unfortunate - Cook." ( Kirkus)

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Sloppy History

You could play sailor-myth-bingo with this title. Tired and long disproven myths populate Farther Than Any Man so that you feel more like you're on a not particularly interesting guided tour by an ancient volunteer docent that a maritime museum doesn't have the heart to dismiss, rather than embarking on an exciting sea adventure. It's all here: sailors are called Jack Tar because they intentionally coated their hair and clothes with tar, sailors were atheists, sailors were beaten all the time and for no reason. Then there's the silly assertion that come out of nowhere, like when Dugard claims that Cook is the first common sailor in Royal Navy history to become an officer, he bizarrely claims that real sailors didn't occupy the lower decks, and entirely omits the presence of landsmen and ordinary seamen.

It doesn't help that the performance is languid when not needlessly heavy as if imparting the gospel, but the fault really lies with the text. It isn't exciting, nor even interesting.

There are much better books about Cook out there. Skip this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful