Overnight Open Thread | Main | Top Headline Comments 8-3-10
August 03, 2010

Dempression reading list - Sea of Glory

When you're mired in the midst of economic depression, you'll be wanting books that deliver genuine value for the scarce coin you can afford to spend on them, right? Books that significantly expand your knowledge far beyond the pathetic propaganda the schools fed you as a child.

Amidst all the typical loser landfill candidates, Dollar Tree served up a real gem recently if you can still find it for a buck on the shelves - Sea of Glory by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Its the story of the 1838-1842 American Exploring Expedition, which set out to chart hundreds of south pacific islands, the Columbia river, San Francisco bay, and search for the rumored existence of land at the bottom of the world.

You probably never heard of the Ex Ex in grade school unless you're an amateur naval historian or history major - I know I never did, and I went to a supposedly pretty good high school. In fact, American history post Revolution/War of 1812 through pre-Civil War was generally kinda light - i.e. non-existent and probably still is.

Did you know that when we invaded Tarawa during WWII, the only available nautical charts of the area were those produced by the Ex Ex 100 years prior?

Remember the Vincennes incident in the Gulf, Iranian airliner shot down blah, blah? Did you know there was an earlier Vincennes? It was the flagship of the Ex Ex squadron.

The Ex Ex found Antarctica, charted over 1,000 miles of coastline, the specimens and collecting prompted the creation of what later became the Smithsonian and outclassed anything Cook or any of the other European explorers ever did. Did you know the Smithsonian is named not after an American, rather an Englishman named Smithson who donated about a half million bucks (in mid-1800's dollars) for its creation.

Its a truly amazing story of madness, cruelty, cannibalism, petty revenge, reckless daring, cowardice, heroism, incredible sacrifice, and spectacular accomplishment in spite of shifting ill political winds in Washington, a cast of officers and scientists who came to hate the expedition leader, and a leader who often treated his officers and seamen like crap.

If you can pick this gem up for a buck at Dollar Tree, do it. You won't be disappointed.


digg this
posted by Purp at 01:19 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
qdpsteve: "Twelveteenth! ..."

ALH: "That poor woman, grieving her husband. God Bless h ..."

Guy who bangs all his food: "I banged out some spaghetti for dinner. Nobody com ..."

Alberta Oil Peon, survivor of GNAMM: "Call me skeptical. I watched Senator Smalley runni ..."

Basement Cat: "(pours grammie a good stiff shot of gin through th ..."

Miley, the Duchess [/b] [/i] [/s] [/u]: "Yes, well, I'm going to be fashionably late. ..."

Hairyback Guy: "Great post WD! ..."

buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzion: "[i]665 Japan still had smoking lounges in their ai ..."

flounder, rebel, vulgarian, deplorable, winner: "RIP Green Beret. https://youtu.be/PX4Flhw0HSA ..."

Miley, the Duchess [/b] [/i] [/s] [/u]: "Peeps on the beast post  - wow. ..."

Aetius451AD Work Laptop: "ONT is Nood, btw. ..."

The Political Hat: "The Great Australian Cultural Swindle The great ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64