Gladiator one minute, galley slave the next; danger and abuse,
excitement and tedium were the lot of the open-boat whalemen in the
South Seas for more than two centuries. This book tracks the rise
and fall of this first truly global industry, telling the stories
of the men who made it. Although they whaled in American, British,
French, Australian and New Zealand ships, their calling made them
citizens of a separate, closed and isolated world, unlike that even
of other seamen. The book describes that world and its unique
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