Trying Leviathan

Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400833981
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Moby-Dick, Ishmael declares, "Be it known that, waiving all argument, I take the good old fashioned ground that a whale is a fish, and call upon holy Jonah to back me." Few readers today know just how much argument Ishmael is waiving aside. In fact, Melville's antihero here takes sides in one of the great controversies of the early nineteenth century--one that ultimately had to be resolved in the courts of New York City. In Trying Leviathan, D. Graham Burnett recovers the strange story of Maurice v. Judd, an 1818 trial that pitted the new sciences of taxonomy against the then-popular--and biblically sanctioned--view that the whale was a fish. The immediate dispute was mundane: whether whale oil was fish oil and therefore subject to state inspection. But the trial fueled a sensational public debate in which nothing less than the order of nature--and how we know it--was at stake. Burnett vividly recreates the trial, during which a parade of experts--pea-coated whalemen, pompous philosophers, Jacobin lawyers--took the witness stand, brandishing books, drawings, and anatomical reports, and telling tall tales from whaling voyages. Falling in the middle of the century between Linnaeus and Darwin, the trial dramatized a revolutionary period that saw radical transformations in the understanding of the natural world. Out went comfortable biblical categories, and in came new sorting methods based on the minutiae of interior anatomy--and louche details about the sexual behaviors of God's creatures. When leviathan breached in New York in 1818, this strange beast churned both the natural and social orders--and not everyone would survive.

Trying Leviathan

Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691146157
Format: PDF
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Recounts the 1818 trial Maurice v. Judd in which the new science of taxonomy was pitted against a dispute over the regulation of whale oil and the then-popular view that the whale was a fish.

Trying Leviathan

Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691129501
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Recounts the 1818 trial Maurice v. Judd in which the new science of taxonomy was pitted against a dispute over the regulation of whale oil and the then-popular view that the whale was a fish.

Masters of All They Surveyed

Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226081212
Format: PDF, Docs
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Chronicling the British pursuit of the legendary El Dorado, Masters of All They Surveyed tells the fascinating story of geography, cartography, and scientific exploration in Britain's unique South American colony, Guyana. How did nineteenth-century Europeans turn areas they called terra incognita into bounded colonial territories? How did a tender-footed gentleman, predisposed to seasickness (and unable to swim), make his way up churning rivers into thick jungle, arid savanna, and forbidding mountain ranges, survive for the better part of a decade, and emerge with a map? What did that map mean? In answering these questions, D. Graham Burnett brings to light the work of several such explorers, particularly Sir Robert H. Schomburgk, the man who claimed to be the first to reach the site of Ralegh's El Dorado. Commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society and later by the British Crown, Schomburgk explored and mapped regions in modern Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana, always in close contact with Amerindian communities. Drawing heavily on the maps, reports, and letters that Schomburgk sent back to England, and especially on the luxuriant images of survey landmarks in his Twelve Views in the Interior of Guiana (reproduced in color in this book), Burnett shows how a vast network of traverse surveys, illustrations, and travel narratives not only laid out the official boundaries of British Guiana but also marked out a symbolic landscape that fired the British imperial imagination. Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated, Masters of All They Surveyed will interest anyone who wants to understand the histories of colonialism and science.

The Japanese Culture of Mourning Whales

Author: Mayumi Itoh
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 981106671X
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book provides an in-depth study of Japanese whaling culture, emphasizing how the Japanese have considered whales and whaling in relation to their understanding of nature and religion. It examines why and how the Japanese have mourned the deaths of whales, treating them as if they were human beings, and assesses the relevance of this culture to nature conservation and management of sustainable use of natural resources. It also sheds new light on Japanese whaling, one of the most controversial issues in the contemporary world, by highlighting the hitherto unknown aspects of Japanese beliefs about whales and whaling, which constitute an integral part of their core concept of how they should coexist with nature. Through cross-examining previous studies of Japanese whaling, as well as analyzing new documents and conducting field research on location, this book presents a comprehensive survey of Japanese whaling culture and memorial rites for whales and offers viable insights on how the Japanese whaling culture can be applied to solving current global issues, including nature conservation, management of sustainable use of natural resources, and protection of wildlife and its habitats.

The Sounding of the Whale

Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226081303
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Explores how humans' view of whales changed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, looking at how the sea mammals were once viewed as monsters but evolved into something much gentler and more beautiful.

The Sea

Author: John Mack
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861899289
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea,” wrote Joseph Conrad. And there is certainly nothing more integral to the development of the modern world. In The Sea: A Cultural History, John Mack considers those great expanses that both unite and divide us, and the ways in which human beings interact because of the sea, from navigation to colonization to trade. Much of the world’s population lives on or near the cost, and as Mack explains, in a variety of ways, people actually inhabit the sea. The Sea looks at the characteristics of different seas and oceans and investigates how the sea is conceptualized in various cultures. Mack explores the diversity of maritime technologies, especially the practice of navigation and the creation of a society of the sea, which in many cultures is all-male, often cosmopolitan, and always hierarchical. He describes the cultures and the social and technical practices characteristic of seafarers, as well as their distinctive language and customs. As he shows, the separation of sea and land is evident in the use of different vocabularies on land and on sea for the same things, the change in a mariner’s behavior when on land, and in the liminal status of points uniting the two realms, like beaches and ports. Mack also explains how ships are deployed in symbolic contexts on land in ecclesiastical and public architecture. Yet despite their differences, the two realms are always in dialogue in symbolic and economic terms. Casting a wide net, The Sea uses histories, maritime archaeology, biography, art history, and literature to provide an innovative and experiential account of the waters that define our worldly existence.

Bright Earth

Author: Philip Ball
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226036281
Format: PDF
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From Egyptian wall paintings to the Venetian Renaissance, impressionism to digital images, Philip Ball tells the fascinating story of how art, chemistry, and technology have interacted throughout the ages to render the gorgeous hues we admire on our walls and in our museums. Finalist for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ex Mex

Author: Jorge G. Castaneda
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 1595586598
Format: PDF, Docs
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From the massive nationwide rally in support of immigrant rights in May 2006 to protests against the increasingly frequent immigration raids across the country, the public debate on immigration reform has largely centered on Mexican immigrants. Yet, in the United States, we rarely hear the Mexican perspective on the issue. In “portraits that defy American stereotypes of who is a Mexican immigrant” (Booklist ), former Mexican foreign minister and eminent scholar Jorge G. Castañeda describes just who makes up the newest generation of immigrants from Mexico, why they have chosen to live in the United States, where they work, and what they ultimately hope to achieve. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience, Casteñeda examines the century-long historical background behind the labor exchange between Mexico and the United States, while offering an insider’s account of the official conversations and secret negotiations between the two countries in recent years. Both authoritative and timely, Ex Mex is essential reading for all who want to make sense of the complex issue of immigration.

A Lever Long Enough

Author: Robert McCaughey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537522
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this comprehensive social history of Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), Robert McCaughey combines archival research with oral testimony and contemporary interviews to build both a critical and celebratory portrait of one of the oldest engineering schools in the United States. McCaughey follows the evolving, occasionally rocky, and now integrated relationship between SEAS's engineers and the rest of the Columbia University student body, faculty, and administration. He also revisits the interaction between the SEAS staff and the inhabitants and institutions of the City of New York, where the school has resided since its founding in 1864. He compares the historical struggles and achievements of the school's engineers with their present-day battles and accomplishments, and he contrasts their teaching and research approaches to those of their peers at other free-standing and Ivy league engineering schools. What begins as a localized history of a school striving to define itself within a university known for its strengths in the humanities and the social sciences becomes a wider story of the transformation of the applied sciences into a critical component of American technology and education.