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Captain Cook


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Table of Contents

Illustrations; Maps; Abbreviations; Preface; 1. Worlds; 2. The Sea; 3. Trade; 4. War; 5. Politics; 6. Religion; 7. Sex; 8. Death; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Professor John Gascoigne was educated at the universities of Sydney, Princeton and Cambridge. He has taught in Papua New Guinea and since 1980 has been a member of the School of History, University of New South Wales. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His five previous books and other publications have dealt with the impact of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment and include a two-volume study of Joseph Banks and his world. His most recent work is The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia (Cambridge, 2002).


Many biographies have been written about Capt. James Cook, covering his career in the British Royal Navy and his explorations of the South Pacific in the late 18th century, but Gascoigne (history, Univ. of New South Wales; Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment) takes a different approach in his insightful telling of Cook's story. In addition to providing basic information about Cook's childhood and youth in Yorkshire, he gives a short chronological and geographical account of Cook's three voyages during the years 1768-79. Most of this work, however, is given over to comparing and contrasting the attitudes of the 18th-century British with those of native peoples encountered in Tahiti, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, the American Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii. In different chapters, Gascoigne covers the divergent thinking on such topics as trade, war, politics, religion, sex, and death that often led to misunderstandings between cultures. He provides a wealth of detail on the way of life of both Cook's England and the Pacific cultures affected by the visits of his ships. His perceptive analysis gives a new depth of understanding about the actual interactions between these cultures. With an extensive bibliography and endnotes; highly recommended for history and anthropology collections in academic and large public libraries.-Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Coll. Lib., Westerville, OH Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Many biographies have been written about Capt. James Cook... but Gascoigne takes a different approach in his insightful telling of Cook's story. His perceptive analysis gives a new depth of understanding about the actual interactions between these cultures." Library Journal"

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