Blue Latitudes - Tony Horwitz

Blue Latitudes

By Tony Horwitz

  • Release Date: 2003-08-01
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 27 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

In an exhilarating tale of historic adventure, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Confederates in the Attic retraces the voyages of Captain James Cook, the Yorkshire farm boy who drew the map of the modern world

Captain James Cook's three epic journeys in the 18th century were the last great voyages of discovery. His ships sailed 150,000 miles, from the Artic to the Antarctic, from Tasmania to Oregon, from Easter Island to Siberia. When Cook set off for the Pacific in 1768, a third of the globe remained blank. By the time he died in Hawaii in 1779, the map of the world was substantially complete.
Tony Horwitz vividly recounts Cook's voyages and the exotic scenes the captain encountered: tropical orgies, taboo rituals, cannibal feasts, human sacrifice. He also relives Cook's adventures by following in the captain's wake to places such as Tahiti, Savage Island, and the Great Barrier Reef to discover Cook's embattled legacy in the present day. Signing on as a working crewman aboard a replica of Cook's vessel, Horwitz experiences the thrill and terror of sailing a tall ship. 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 British history.
By turns harrowing and hilarious, insightful and entertaining, BLUE LATITUDES brings to life a man whose voyages helped create the 'global village' we know today.

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Latest Impressions

  • Inspired escapades made for a very enjoyable read

    By Fred, da Maui haole
    A fun, informative and provocative book. I appreciated the mixture of contemporary daring and irreverence in tracing a significant portion of Cook's amazingly long journeys.
  • Fascinating read

    By Chicken Little2
    What a great experience to accompany the author on a modern day exploration of Captain Cook's legacy. Not only are the description of Cook's exploits interesting, but the story-telling and prose are so readable and realistic that I felt like I was accompanying Horowitz on his research and Cook on his voyages. The author's efforts at research is extraordinary, and his commitment to retrace Cook's footprints around the globe is truly inspiring.