Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Book Review: Blue Latitudes

Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook has Gone Before, Tony Horwitz

Tony Horwitz wrote one of my all-time favorite travel books: Baghdad Without a Map. So, I had to check out his take on Captain Cook's exploration of the Pacific.

I was hooked from the first chapter. Horwitz presents the historical information in his usual entertaining manner and intersperses hilarious snippets about his modern-day pilgrimages to the stops on Cook's tours. His friend, Roger, is the best sidekick since Dr. Gonzo joined Hunter S. Thompson in Vegas.

I had no idea Cook had expertly mapped the Pacific from the shores of Antarctica to the Arctic Circle. He navigated around the globe several times and spanned 80 of the 100 total degrees of latitude.

There are many issues with Cook's "discovery" of Tahiti, Tonga, Hawaii, etc. that are similar to the chaos explorers wreaked on the North American continent including disease, exploitation, and land appropriation. However, Cook deserves his due with the other foremost explorers.

A big thumbs-up!

1 comment:

  1. Melissa4:04 PM

    this does sound good: I think I'll add it to my LONG list of books to read. I think I need a marathon reading weekend.