“In the bright new age of whale science, Graham Burnett's astounding and wide-ranging report from the front lines of cetacean studies is hugely welcome. Rooted in historical fact, political, philosophical, and scientific analysis, it lays out the sorry story of the interaction of humans and whales in an era that redefined the ever-uneasy meeting of natural and human history. By turns enlightening, lively, and disturbing, always intuitive and drawing on a wealth of knowledge as vast as its subject, Burnett’s book is set to become a new high water mark in a still unfolding story.”
Philip Hoare, author of The Whale
“The wait is over. We finally have a comprehensive, brilliantly written chronicle of science in the history of whaling—or whaling in the history of science. Graham Burnett’s leviathanic opus covers everything you ever wanted to know—or didn’t know you wanted to know—about the biology, conservation, politics, and history of what is perhaps man’s most troubled relationship with wild animals. This masterly study eclipses every cetological work that precedes it. Well, maybe not Moby-Dick.”
Richard Ellis, author of The Great Sperm Whale
The Sounding of the Whale
Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century
D. Graham Burnett
|Publication Date: 31 January 2012 ||Cloth • $45.00 • £29.00 |
|UK Publication Date: 20 February 2012 ||978-0-226-08130-4 |
“In the early twentieth century, whale biology was restricted to the flensing decks of factory ships, where scientists were in danger of being sucked ‘into the belly of the beast’ of modern whaling.
D. Graham Burnett artfully renders the history, and the often fractious relationship, between biologists and whalers; I felt as if I had discovered a trail of ambergris meticulously arrayed along the shores
of twentieth-century cetology. The Sounding of the Whale is a work of stunning scholarship
and a bracing read.”
Joe Roman, author of Listed and Whale
D. Graham Burnett is professor of history and history of science at Princeton University. He is an editor at Cabinet magazine and the author of four books, including A Trial by Jury, Trying Leviathan, and Masters of All They Surveyed. He is available for interviews
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