Captain James Cook's three epic journeys in the 18th century were the last great voyages of discovery. His ships sailed some 150,000 miles, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from Tasmania to Oregon, from Easter Island to Siberia. Before Cook set off for the Pacific in 1768, one third of the globe remained blank. By the time of his violent death in Hawaii in 1779, there was little left to discover and the map of the world was substantially complete. Tony Horwitz vividly recounts Cook's voyages and the exotic scenes he encountered: tropical orgies, taboo rituals, human sacrifice, hip-throbbing Tahitian dancers, New Zealand cannibals, Hawaiian surfers, and Australian Aborigines sealed off from the rest of the world for thousands of years. He also explores Cook the man: an impoverished farmboy who broke through the barriers of his class and time to become the greatest navigator in history. More than two centuries on, Tony Horwitz travels the world in the captain's wake - including a stint as a working sailor aboard a replica of Cook's tall ship, the "Endeavour" - in a quest to uncover the legacy of Cook today. Along the way, Horwitz falls victim to sea sickness across four oceans, narrowly avoids shipwreck on the Bora Bora reef, travels to remote beer-swilling, cyclone-wracked, crocodile-infested outposts, uncovers the conspiracy of the red banana, dons a wig and britches in Tahiti, and survives turkey curry in Middlesbrough and gale-force winds on the deck of a week-long Alaskan ferry ride. By turns harrowing and hilarious, insightful and entertaining, his journey brings to life a man whose voyages have left an indelible mark on the world as we know it today.
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