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1 Burnside - Bldg. 2 Nautical- Whaling

A Whale Hunt

by

A Whale Hunt Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gloriously idiosyncratic fusion of travelogue, ecology, history, moral controversy, and high-seas adventure from the acclaimed author of The Meadowlands.

In the fall of 1997, Robert Sullivan arrived in Neah Bay, a tiny town on the most northwestern tip of America, home to the Makah, a Native American tribe. For centuries the hunting of the whale was what defined the tribe, but when commercial whaling drove the gray whale to near extinction in the 1920s, the Makah voluntarily discontinued their tradition and hung up their harpoons. In 1994, after the gray whale was taken off the endangered species list, the Makah decided to hunt again. Faced with the problems endemic to other reservations, including poverty, unemployment, and alcoholism, many Makah believed that a traditional whale hunt would inject their community with a new sense of pride and purpose. The problem was that all the old whalers were dead — no one knew how to go about hunting a whale.

During a sojourn that lasts longer than anyone could have predicted, Robert Sullivan chronicles the two years he spends in Neah Bay as the Makah prepare for and stage the first hunt. With a damp, plywood fisherman's shanty for lodging, Sullivan roams the spectacular surrounding wilderness, learns about ancient Northwest whaling traditions and the history of the Makah, follows the migratory path of the gray whale down the West Coast, and gets to know the crew and their beleaguered captain, Wayne Johnson. Combatting tribal infighting and inexperience, the crew must also face the passionate, furious animal rights activists and swarming reporters who besiege the once sleepy Neah Bay. Before the ragtag group of hunters even pursues a whale, there are clashes, disappointments, and defeats, small triumphs and unexpected heroes — all made vivid by Sullivan's keen eye for irony and his captivating, lyrical prose.

Another legendary whale hunt becomes the fascinating and funny subtext to this tale as Sullivan notices eerie parallels — and oppositions — between the Makah's quest and the whaling classic Moby-Dick. A book of many layers and revelations, A Whale Hunt is the story of the demise and attempted resurrection of a Native American nation, and of the individuals on the reservation whose lives are forever changed.

Review:

"Captivating... the true value of [Sullivan's] work stems from the depth and quality of his observational powers." The Oregonian

Review:

"A resounding work of environmental and ethnographic reportage." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A Whale Hunt is a good book about the difficulties of keeping a cultural and tribal tradition alive in the present day. Mr. Sullivan's account is sensitive, moving, and sad." Larry McMurtry

Review:

"Here is a fascinating account of the controversial Makah tribe whale hunt by an outside observer. Mr. Sullivan gives a perceptive, even-handed description of the overwhelming obstacles the Makah tribal whale hunters faced — nasty racism, limited finances (they don't have casinos), cadres of wealthy animal rights protestors, and the usual tribe bickering. All this only makes the Makah whale hunting success a greater triumph." Leslie Marmon Silko

Review:

"A rich story, at turns ironic and bemusing, sad and funny." USA Today

Book News Annotation:

New York-based freelance writer Sullivan (Meadowlands) chronicles two years he spent at the center of a controversy that pitted two cherished ideals against each other—protecting whales and preserving ancestral practice. The Makah, on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, resumed hunting the gray whale in the traditional manner when it was taken off the endangered species list in 1995; animal rights advocates arrived to protest. There is no index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The author relates his time spent with the Makah, a Native American tribe with a centuries-old tradition of hunting whales off the Olympic Peninsula, and how it regained its rights to hunt the gray whale after it was taken off the endangered species list.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 279-283).

About the Author

Robert Sullivan, a contributing editor at Vogue, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of The Meadowlands, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He recently moved from Portland, Oregon, to Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684864334
Author:
Sullivan, Robert
Publisher:
Scribner
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
American
Subject:
Public opinion
Subject:
Fisheries & Aquaculture
Subject:
Native American Studies - Tribes
Subject:
Hunting
Subject:
Whaling
Subject:
Makah Indians.
Subject:
Neah Bay
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies - Tribes
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Edition Number:
1st Touchstone ed.
Series Volume:
107-177
Publication Date:
20001017
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.46x6.60x1.04 in. 1.30 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Native American » Pacific Northwest
Transportation » Nautical » Whaling

A Whale Hunt Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780684864334 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Captivating... the true value of [Sullivan's] work stems from the depth and quality of his observational powers."
"Review" by , "A resounding work of environmental and ethnographic reportage."
"Review" by , "A Whale Hunt is a good book about the difficulties of keeping a cultural and tribal tradition alive in the present day. Mr. Sullivan's account is sensitive, moving, and sad."
"Review" by , "Here is a fascinating account of the controversial Makah tribe whale hunt by an outside observer. Mr. Sullivan gives a perceptive, even-handed description of the overwhelming obstacles the Makah tribal whale hunters faced — nasty racism, limited finances (they don't have casinos), cadres of wealthy animal rights protestors, and the usual tribe bickering. All this only makes the Makah whale hunting success a greater triumph."
"Review" by , "A rich story, at turns ironic and bemusing, sad and funny."
"Synopsis" by , The author relates his time spent with the Makah, a Native American tribe with a centuries-old tradition of hunting whales off the Olympic Peninsula, and how it regained its rights to hunt the gray whale after it was taken off the endangered species list.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 279-283).
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