Men and Whales

Richard Ellis, Author, Ashbel Green, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $40 (542p) ISBN 978-0-394-55839-4
In a sequel to The Book of Whales , marine writer-artist Ellis explores the relationship between whales and humans from the time of Alexander the Great to the present. Organized whaling began with the Basques in the Bay of Biscay around A.D. 1000; by the end of the 16th century, British and Dutch whalers had worked their way to Spitzbergen and Greenland. Ellis chronicles the spread of commercial whaling by species, country and period, taking note of Sven Foyn's invention of the exploding grenade harpoon in 1868. This grim story is alleviated by ``interludes'': the narwhal as a source of the unicorn myth, whalebone in fashion, whaling in literature, whales on exhibition and whalewatching. Ellis discusses regulation, the rise of Greenpeace and Project Jonah and the issue of ``scientific permit whaling.'' The smooth, authoritative narrative is enhanced with illustrations. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 542 pages - 978-1-55821-696-9
Hardcover - 978-0-517-10968-7
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