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James Cook never laid eyes on the sea until he was in his teens. He then began an extraordinary rise from farmboy outsider to the hallowed rank of captain of the Royal Navy, leading three historic journeys that would forever link his name with fearless exploration (and inspire pop-culture heroes like Captain Hook and Captain James T. Kirk). In Farther Than Any Man, noted modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard strips away the myth of Cook and instead portrays a complex, conflicted man of tremendous ambition (at times to a fault), intellect (though Cook was routinely underestimated) and sheer hardheadedness. When Great Britain announced a major circumnavigation in 1768 -- a mission cloaked in science, but aimed at the pursuit of world power -- it came as a political surprise that James Cook was given command. Cook's surveying skills had contributed to the British victory over France in the Seven Years' War in 1763, but no commoner had ever commanded a Royal Navy vessel. Endeavor's stunning three-year journey changed the face of modern exploration, charting the vast Pacific waters, the eastern coasts of New Zealand and Australia, and making landfall in Tahiti, Tierra del Fuego, and Rio de Janeiro. After returning home a hero, Cook yearned to get back to sea. He soon took control of the Resolution and returned to his beloved Pacific, in search of the elusive Southern Continent. It was on this trip that Cook's taste for power became an obsession, and his legendary kindness to island natives became an expectation of worship -- traits that would lead him first to greatness, then to catastrophe. Full of action, lush description, and fascinating historical characters like King George III and Master William Bligh, Dugard's gripping account of the life and gruesome demise of Capt. James Cook is a thrilling story of a discoverer hell-bent on traveling farther than any man.
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