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Hampton Sides

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    Book Review A Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides

    Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook

    This fascinating story brings to life the Age of Exploration and the role Captain James Cook played in it, until his death in Hawaii. Here is my book review A Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides.

    Captain Cook

    Hampton Sides astonishing research culminates in this incredible account of the third and final voyage of Captain James Cook. Revered by his men, considered one of the greatest sea captains and explorers in British history, and unique for his respect of indigenous people. How then did he come to his fate at the hands of the Hawaiian people?

    A Change

    Many of his crew noticed that Cook was different on this third voyage. Unfocused and unpredictable. Moody and distant. Did this change in personality attribute to the decisions he made about discipline that would ultimately end his life?

    On previous voyages Cook had been responsible for mapping much of the unexplored Pacific including much of Australia. He made first contact with a variety of local indigenous people and cultures, including being the first European explorer to visit the Hawaiian Islands.

    Cook’s first encounter with the Hawaiian people was positive and congenial. But after exploring Alaska and then returning to Hawaii, Cook’s poor decisions regarding discipline of the theft of a sheep would explode into all out war – killing several of the crew and Cook himself.


    This is a fascinating and educational book, well-written and vast in the material it covers. Captivating, I was intrigued throughout and learned a great deal about, like last week’s book review Born in Blackness by Howard French, the European White Imperialistic surge to conquer and manifest wealth and superiority, at all costs.

    Book Review A Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides

    Highly recommend. *****Five stars for A Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides. See last week’s Book Review Born in Blackness by Howard French.

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