Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

  • Title: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
  • Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • ISBN: 9780670032310
  • Page: 400
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sea of Glory America s Voyage of Discovery The U S Exploring Expedition America s first frontier was not the West it was the sea In an enormous expedition headed by the young brash Lieutenant Charles Wilkes set out for the Pacific Ocean with six ships and hundreds
    America s first frontier was not the West it was the sea In 1838, an enormous expedition headed by the young, brash Lieutenant Charles Wilkes set out for the Pacific Ocean with six ships and hundreds of sailors on what would turn out to be a wide reaching journey of adventure, discovery, and controversy Literally broadening our horizons, the Exploring Expedition s shipsAmerica s first frontier was not the West it was the sea In 1838, an enormous expedition headed by the young, brash Lieutenant Charles Wilkes set out for the Pacific Ocean with six ships and hundreds of sailors on what would turn out to be a wide reaching journey of adventure, discovery, and controversy Literally broadening our horizons, the Exploring Expedition s ships covered the Pacific Ocean from top to bottom, discovered a new continent that Wilkes would name Antarctica, and brought America to the world s attention for its scientific endeavours as well as its bravado Using diaries kept on board, historian Nathaniel Philbrick uncovers the dark saga that the official reports never told.

    • Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 : Nathaniel Philbrick
      400 Nathaniel Philbrick
    • thumbnail Title: Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 : Nathaniel Philbrick
      Posted by:Nathaniel Philbrick
      Published :2019-06-12T06:21:11+00:00

    About Nathaniel Philbrick


    1. Philbrick was Brown s first Intercollegiate All American sailor in 1978 that year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI today he and his wife Melissa sail their Beetle Cat Clio and their Tiffany Jane 34 Marie J in the waters surrounding Nantucket Island.After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine was a freelancer for a number of years, during which time he wrote edited several sailing books, including Yaahting A Parody 1984 , for which he was the editor in chief during this time he was also the primary caregiver for his two children After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore Nantucket Island and Its People He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Institute in 1995, and in 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea, followed by Sea of Glory, in 2003, and Mayflower He is presently at work on a book about the Battle of Little Big Horn.Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award for nonfiction Revenge of the Whale won a Boston Globe Horn Book Award Sea of Glory won the Theodore and Franklin D Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society, and the New England Book Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Associationom his website


    123 Comments


    1. When I was in college, I became very good friends with a German guy from Stuttgart named Tobias. He was six-foot-eight, spoke perfect English, and had been a model. We made for an odd sight on campus, since I am not six-foot-eight and am not a Euro model (I did, however, speak passable English). After graduation, and before Tobias set out on his life as a globe-trotting international banker, I took him up to Minnesota to visit my folks. Along the way, I kept seeing signs along the highway markin [...]

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    2. Nathaniel Philbrick writes intrinsic insightful, depth of minutia factual, and psychologically framed to perfection non-fiction. It's incredible. And for the time frames, numbers of key characters, epic in scope missions and goals! Well, for the seas of the Earth especially those tales- he's a 6 on a 5 star scale.Never believing he could surpass his record of the Essex- this Sea of Glory which finely details the 1838-1842 explorations of the U.S. Ex. Ex. equals or does just that.This book was de [...]

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    3. I never heard of this expedition, which over four years charted large swaths of Antarctica, hundreds of Pacific Islands, the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and collected sufficient thousands of new ethnographic and biological specimens to initiate the founding of the Smithsonian Insitution. I was glad to be enlightened and to be charmed again by Philbrick’s skill in synthesizing so much historical fact into a narrative that reads like a novel. The tale blends an epic of scientific discovery on the or [...]

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    4. Nathaniel Philbrick gets a WriterWorking prize for the best epigram ever to frame a book for this quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII: “I have ventured this many summers in a sea of glory but far beyond my depth.” Sea of Glory is the story of Charles Wilkes and the voyage of the great American Exploring Expedition of 1838-42. It was America’s first great effort to stake a place in the annals of world science and exploration. It gave this country a share in the discovery of Antarctica as [...]

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    5. I really love and appreciate non-fiction that brings history vividly to life. Using plenty of original source material (personal journals, ship's logs, government records etc.), Nathaniel Philbrick's rigorously researched story of the United States Exploring Expedition -- a scientific surveying mission conducted from 1838 to 1842 -- puts the reader right on board with the crew.Reading this book, you can't help but feel the excitement, suffering, astonishment and frustration of the men who embark [...]

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    6. This book is about the American expedition that was created to chart the seas. See my complete review on my bookblog: quirkyreadervejournal/4

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    7. Unless you are a die-hard pre-Civil War U.S. Naval history buff (which I am not), you probably haven’t heard of of the United States South Seas Exploring Expedition of 1838 (The U.S.Ex.Ex. for short). It is probably not mentioned in a lot of textbooks, even if some of its many discoveries are. There are, according to Nathaniel Philbrick, some very good reasons for this.Philbrick’s wonderful book, “Sea of Glory”, is perhaps the most comprehensive and honest account of the four-year expedi [...]

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    8. Synopsis:The US Exploring Expedition (the Ex.Ex. as it is referred to throughout the book)was at the time one of the most extensive projects undertaken by the United States. However, it went largely uncelebrated at its conclusion for many reasons -- changes in politics in Washington DC; the drive west by settlers for gold & land; changes in the purpose and scope of the Navy itself -- but largely because of one man, Charles Wilkes, the leader of the expedition.Wilkes was somewhat arrogant, cr [...]

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    9. An all around excellent historical story! I had never heard of this expedition until I read this book.

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    10. As a work of naval history, I prefer In the Heart of the Sea, but as a study of the effects of deep-seated psychological defects on leadership, Sea of Glory is a fascinating study. I struggle with Lt. Charles Wilkes, commander of the U.S Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842, charged with mapping previously unexplored portions of Antarctica, Polynesia, and the Pacific Northwest. He's a man beset by his own demons. But to his credit, Philbrick gives us a nuanced portrait of a man out of his depth, bu [...]

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    11. It’s amazing that American history has lost track of the U.S. Exploring Expedition (1838-42) or the “Ex. Ex.” As a journey of discovery, the expedition is incredibly significant – it’s like Lewis and Clark at sea. Six wooden ships sailing the vast watery wilderness for science, the Stars & Stripes and the future Smithsonian Institution. Along the way, it confirmed the findings of Charles Darwin and established Antarctica as a sixth continent. Four years of exploration and challengi [...]

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    12. Sea of Glory is a fantastic narrative of the largely forgotten U.S. Exploring Expedition of the 1830s. It was not at all the dry and boring "textbook" I was expecting. Rather, it was refined and written almost like a novel using historical sources. It arranges the expedition from start to finish, detailing the political forces that lead to its inception, what perils faced the crew on their journey, and how the political landscape at the time of the expedition's return lead to its fall into obscu [...]

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    13. Sea of Glory is a very good read, not only as an exciting tale of seafaring and exploration, but also as a cautionary tale. It tells the story of the US Exploring Expedition to Antarctica and the Pacific in 1838-42. The head of the expedition, Commander Wilkes, was a classic toxic boss, and was the storm center of a mass of intrigues and infighting that plagued the expedition from Day 1. I strongly recommend it, not only for people in the military, but for corporate executives. Wilkes' massive m [...]

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    14. This book was very interesting, but it was also very long and very slow. It just didn't have the same life to it as Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, and it reads more like a long historical narrative rather than an exciting adventure at sea. I wish the book had focused more on the expedition itself rather than on Wilkes and his leadership problems. I learned a lot so I'm glad I read this one, but I am also glad that I am finally finished.

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    15. Story of the pacific ocean exploration by US in the 1800s. Captain Wilkes was egomaniac with control issues that led to widespread discontent during the four year journey. Great accomplishments during a time of worldwide exploration of the seas.

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    16. I really didn't like it so much. I was expecting more of an adventure story, and parts were, but their was too much on the bad leadership, and bad feelings, and bickering between the officers. So no, it was not for me.

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    17. The achievements of the US South Pacific Exploration Expedition were spectacular. During its four years at sea between 1838 and 1842, it logged 87,000 miles; surveyed 280 Pacific Islands; created 180 charts (some of which were in use as late as World War Two); and mapped 800 miles of coastline in the Pacific Northwest and 1,500 miles of the Antarctic coastline. The collection of specimens and artifacts the Expedition’s scientists amassed became the foundation for the Smithsonian’s scientific [...]

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    18. The U.S. Exploring Expedition was an amazing exploit. A squadron of six U.S. Navy vessels was sent to explore and chart sites all over the Pacific Ocean, from Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America to Antarctica to the Fijian and Hawaiian Islands to the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. It produced hundreds of charts, some of which remained in use for more than a century, and brought back a massive quantity of scientific specimens that formed a large percentage of the holdings of t [...]

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    19. Interesting look at a partially forgotten expedition involved in discovering Antarctica and surveying the South Pacific. It's collections formed a large part of the original Smithsonian Institute and other scientific endeavors that emerged from the 1840s on. Part of the reason it's remarkable achievements are less famous was timing; our westward expansion shifted from sea-based voyages to the "Manifest Destiny" of land-based migration. Another reason - navy and U.S. politics discouraged honoring [...]

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    20. I found this book fascinating on so many levels. The strained relationships between the commander and his officers, the amazingly diverse places they explored, the dangers and hardships they endured during a four-year cruise around the globe and the unparalleled contributions to the advancement of science and exploration in the US and the world. But in spite of all this the expedition was pretty much a footnote in American history.

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    21. Somewhat academic history of the US Exploring Expedition, a now largely-forgotten multi-year voyage around the world by the US Navy back when such things could still discover unknown lands -- including, in this case, Antarctica. Philbrick covers the historical facts, but he also puts together a reasonably convincing interpretation of the character of Lieutenant Wilkes, who commanded the whole thing. An interesting bit of history I didn't know much about.

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    22. A wonderful read of a lesser know chapter of American History. I thoroughly enjoyed this work, even when my lack of understanding of how the specifics of a sailing vessel of the 19th century worked. Philbrick is careful to paint a reasonable portrait of a real, if flawed commander, one who would feel somewhat hollow were he fictional. Wonderful moments of historical intersection abound in this engaging work.

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    23. I'm torn. Glad I read it, good but not great. My quibble is that it does include some great sections about life at sea and exploring the Arctic, etc but way too much time spent jabbering about the Captain's personality conflicts with his crew. The survey of 100 miles of the Columbia River is described in a couple sentences, but we get page after page of personality conflicts. I felt the balance was a little skewed. Thus my 3 stars instead of 4.

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    24. Sea of Glory an amazing read for any early American History buff , especially those interested in 1800’s seafaring explorers. Written by the master of historical titles, Nathaniel Philbrick does not disappoint: it is truly an epic undertaking.I like the depth of details presented to the reader in such a way as to actually leaving the reader feeling she/he is there, along for the ride of a lifetime.

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    25. A solid page-turner on a significant but forgotten portion of American naval and scientific history. Philbrick describes the journeys of the Ex. Ex. in such a way that it kept me intrigued to read what they experienced and what challenges they faced next. Even though it was written by an author known for his maritime histories, it was still approachable and enjoyable for those not quite so familiar with the Age of Sail.

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    26. Do who knew about the Ex.Ex.? Not I. The 4-year adventure was a major undertaking in its day but soon forgotten as Americans were drawn West. The leader, Charles Wilkes, is a fascinating character and much of the book focuses on his foibles. Maybe there should be more emphasis on the adventure itself.

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    27. Such a complex tale and one is left with the impression that that there are so many elements to the story - adventure, science, tall ship and personalities- that it is difficult to find a theme to hold the narrative together. Full marks to Philbrick for trying, even if it is not his most readable book

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    28. 2013-07 - Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. [Audiobook] Nathaniel Philbrick (Author) Scott Brick (Reader) 2003. 480 PagesOne of my top ten favorite nooks. Stunning topic and writing. I had the occasion at the 2017 National Book Festival to talk with the author about the book for 15 minutes just stunning. I totally fan-boy'd.

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    29. Wilkes achieved remarkable accomplishments in spite of himself. Some of the details about ships I didn't keep track off and wish there was more detail of the time spent surveying or on land. Our history is always interesting because it's really not that long ago.

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    30. Interesting history of a significant expedition that I never learned about in school. Wilkes is quite a character; my feelings on him ranged between pity, disgust, and admiration throughout the narrative (though I'd probably feel differently if I was one of the men getting flogged).

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