In Blue Latitudes journalist Tony Horwitz follows in the footsteps of Captain Cook, beginning with a week working as a member of the crew on board a replica of Cook’s ship Endeavor. I’d always thought of Cook as this stereotypical British officer, all his buttons properly polished and looking down a very long nose at all these dreadful loincloth-clad natives. In fact, Cook was born in a pigsty, was subject in his youth to a strong Quaker influence, and worked his way up from shoveling coal to captain in the British Navy. He wrote about the aboriginal people he met with respect and admiration. His name is now a bad word all over the Pacific, but in truth Cook was the best white man they’d ever meet. This already lively narrative is made more so by Horwitz’ travelling buddy Roger, one of the funniest, most cynical guys ever to walk through the pages of a book.
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