War of the Whales

A True Story

War of the Whales

“Intimate and urgent storytelling” (Chicago Tribune), a “ripping real-life yarn” (Tampa Bay Chronicle): The remarkable account of two principled men who stand up to the world’s most powerful navy, in defense of whales. Winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and a New York Times bestseller. War of the Whales is the gripping tale of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound—and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth. When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation’s highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.

In the Heart of the Sea (Young Readers Edition)

The True Story of the Whaleship Essex

In the Heart of the Sea (Young Readers Edition)

The New York Times bestselling and National Book Award winning In the Heart of the Sea, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard, adapted by the author for young readers. On November 20, 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry whale. Within minutes, the twenty-one-man crew, including the fourteen-year-old cabin boy Thomas Nickerson, found themselves stranded in three leaky boats in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with barely any supplies and little hope. Three months later, two of the boats were rescued 4,500 miles away, off the coast of South America. Of the twenty-one castaways, only eight survived, including young Thomas. Based on his New York Times best-seller In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick recreates the amazing events of the ill-fated Essex through the sailors own first-hand accounts, photos, maps, and artwork, and tells the tale of one of the great true-life adventure stories. "Horrifyingly engrossing." —Kirkus Reviews "A compelling saga of desperation and survival." —School Library Journal

Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea

Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea

Does the gun lobby threaten the democratic institutions safeguarding individual liberty in America?

Mountain People, Mountain Crafts

Mountain People, Mountain Crafts

Gives a brief history of the folk culture and crafts in the Appalachian region and discusses their present-day revival by introducing contemporary craftsmen and their work.

The Zookeepers' War

An Incredible True Story from the Cold War

The Zookeepers' War

The unbelievable true story of the Cold War’s strangest proxy war, fought between the zoos on either side of the Berlin Wall. “The liveliness of Mohnhaupt’s storytelling and the wonderful eccentricity of his subject matter make this book well worth a read.” —Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Living in West Berlin in the 1960s often felt like living in a zoo, everyone packed together behind a wall, with the world always watching. On the other side of the Iron Curtain, East Berlin and its zoo were spacious and lush, socialist utopias where everything was perfectly planned... and then rarely completed. Berlin’s two zoos in East and West quickly became symbols of the divided city’s two halves. And so no one was terribly surprised when the head zookeepers on either side started an animal arms race: rather than stockpiling nuclear warheads, they competed to have the most pandas and hippos. Soon, state funds were being diverted toward giving these new animals lavish welcomes worthy of visiting dignitaries. West German presidential candidates were talking about zoo policy on the campaign trail. And eventually politicians on both side of the Wall became convinced that if their zoo were proved to be inferior, then that would mean their country’s whole ideology was too. A quirky piece of Cold War history unlike anything you’ve heard before, The Zookeepers’ War is an epic tale of desperate rivalries, human follies, and an animal-mad city in which zookeeping became a way of continuing politics by other means.

Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends

Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends

A collection of oft-repeated urban legends brings together the best of modern myths, from the stoned baby sitter who mistook a baby for a turkey to the fabulously expensive recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Big Miracle

Inspired by the Incredible True Story that United the World

Big Miracle

Now a major motion picture starring Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, Tim Blake Nelson, John Krasinski, and Vinessa Shaw—an account of the dramatic rescue of three gray whales trapped under the ice in Alaska in 1988. Set in Cold War–era 1988, Big Miracle tells the real story behind the remarkable, bizarre, and oftentimes uproarious event that mesmerized the world for weeks. On October 7, an Inuit hunter near Barrow, Alaska, found three California Gray whales imprisoned in the Arctic ice. In the past, as was nature's way, trapped whales always died. Not this time. Tom Rose, who was covering the event for a Japanese TV station, compellingly describes how oil company executives, environmental activists, Inupiat people, small business people, and the U.S. military boldly worked together to rescue the whales. He also tells the stories of some of the more than 150 international journalists who brought the story to the world's attention. The rescue was followed by millions of people around the world as Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev joined the forces of their two nations to help free the whales.

Sea of Glory

America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

Sea of Glory

"A treasure of a book."—David McCullough A New York Times Notable Book America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen—the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has—until now—been relegated to a footnote in the national memory. Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize