FOLLOW THE WHALE by Ivan T. Sanderson
Kirkus Star


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From ten years of research and new discoveries about whales, this covers one of man's earliest activities and traces it through the centuries, flagging down the developments in whaling and the knowledge, informed and misinformed, the years brought about the species. Insisting that riverine, gulfine, coastal and deep draft whale- taking needs new sights, aquacentric maps are provided to show the changing horizons of prehistoric, ancient and emerging modern man; the stages of man are reflected in his boats and methods, going from oar to sail, steam and diesel, from scattered to unified efforts, to harpoon gun and floating factory and the Kvaener cooker; the dawn men give way to the Japs, Basques, Norse, British, Dutch, American, who in turn lead to great voyages and discoveries (rather than explorations). The decline of whaling bases lead to new locations, natural history turns into the conquest of the sea and the globe -- all because of the whale and its valuable uses, more today than ever before. Throughout all the varieties of whales are discussed, and, insofar as possible, described in every aspect of physical dimensions, habits, characteristics, breeding, habitat -- from porpoise and dolphin through to the sperm, killer, right, blue gray, humpback, rorqual (fin) and even more. And it still leaves mysteries to clear up. Recognizing the bizarre and the romance, this takes its mammoth mammal and makes it a bonanza for all those who caught the fever from Robertson's Of Whales and Men and earlier exposures, as they responded to ""the triumph of the puny...the twilight of the mighty"".

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1955
Publisher: Little, Brown