Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £16.38

Save £7.62 (32%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century by [Burnett, D. Graham]
Kindle App Ad

The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century Kindle Edition

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£16.38

Length: 824 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

Summer Sale
Choose from over 450 books on sale from 99p. Shop now
Get a £1 reward for movies or TV
Enjoy a £1.00 reward to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase any Amazon Kindle Book from the Kindle Store (excluding Kindle Unlimited, Periodicals and free Kindle Books) offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 reward per customer applies. UK customers only. Offer ends at 23:59 on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Terms and conditions apply


Product description

Review

"A very good book."--Larry McMurtry "Harper's "

"A remarkable book, an astounding piece of research. . . . This is a major work in the history of science, but it is also an environmental history, a study in decision-making and a contribution to the growing genre of ocean history."--David Blackburn "Guardian "

"A history of breathtaking depth. . . . "The Sounding of the Whale" offers a telling reminder of just how much ideas matter, literally and figuratively, in the material relationships that bind the lives of humans to other animals with whom we share Earth."
--Gregg Mitman "Science "

The wait is over. We finally have a comprehensive, brilliantly written chronicle of science in the history of whaling or whaling in the history of science. Graham Burnett s leviathanic opus covers everything you ever wanted to know or didn t know you wanted to know about the biology, conservation, politics, and history of what is perhaps man s most troubled relationship with wild animals. This masterly study eclipses every cetological work that precedes it. Well, maybe not "Moby-Dick."
--Richard Ellis, author of The Great Sperm Whale"

A history of breathtaking depth. . . . "The Sounding of the Whale" offers a telling reminder of just how much ideas matter, literally and figuratively, in the material relationships that bind the lives of humans to other animals with whom we share Earth."
--Gregg Mitman "Science ""

"The wait is over. We finally have a comprehensive, brilliantly written chronicle of science in the history of whaling--or whaling in the history of science. Graham Burnett's leviathanic opus covers everything you ever wanted to know--or didn't know you wanted to know--about the biology, conservation, politics, and history of what is perhaps man's most troubled relationship with wild animals. This masterly study eclipses every cetological work that precedes it. Well, maybe not Moby-Dick."
--Richard Ellis, author of The Great Sperm Whale

"In the bright new age of whale science, Graham Burnett's astounding and wide-ranging report from the front lines of cetacean studies is hugely welcome. Rooted in historical fact, political, philosophical and scientific analysis, it lays out the sorry story of the interaction of humans and whales in an era which redefined the ever uneasy meeting of natural and human history. By turns enlightening, lively and disturbing, always intuitive and drawing on a wealth of knowledge as vast as its subject, Burnett's book is set to become a new high water mark in a still unfolding story."
--Philip Hoare, author of The Whale

"It is tempting to use big words to describe this big book--and Burnett's The Sounding of the Whale is big in terms of both size and importance. In his investigation of the creation of knowledge about whales, Burnett offers a uniquely fertile avenue into the fraught topics of modern whaling, science-based regulation, and the dramatic shift in the cultural meanings of whales during the twentieth century. The volume itself offers eloquent testimony to the centrality of historical narrative for understanding the relationship between science and regulation. Yet, despite the lesson that complexity and distinctiveness matter, deeply, for the particular case of twentieth-century whaling, Burnett's study also illuminates durable characteristics of science-based regulation and provides analytical context for current controversies such as the scientific whaling exception or the concept of 'scientific uncertainty.' Historians of various stripes, those who study science, the environment, politics, or culture, will find this invaluable study worthy of careful and considered attention, but so will environmental activists, political scientists, and people concerned with the history and fate of the largest creatures on our planet and their smaller marine mammalian brethren. To use little words to describe a big book, Burnett's The Sounding of the Whale is great."
--Helen Rozwadowski, author of Fathoming the Ocean

"This wonderful book documents the interplays among science, conservation and politics in the evolving career of the whale over the last century, with bravura, insight and wit, as has never been done before. Using a narrative style, it explores the thoughts and trials of the men behind the origins and activities of the Discovery Investigations, the International Whaling Commission and the save-the-whale movement. It's scholarly history that reads like a good novel--Harmer, Kellogg, Mackintosh, Lilly, and more; they're all here, in full. The language is marvelous: original and eloquent."
--William Perrin, Senior Scientist for Marine Mammals at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries Service

"In the early twentieth century, whale biology was restricted to the flensing decks of factory ships, where scientists were in danger of being sucked 'into the belly of the beast' of modern whaling. Graham Burnett artfully renders the history, and the often fractious relationship, between biologists and whalers; I felt as if I had discovered a trail of ambergris meticulously arrayed along the shores of twentieth-century cetology. The Sounding of the Whale is a work of stunning scholarship and a bracing read."
--Joe Roman, author of Listed and Whale

"In other hands it might have yielded a story as dry as dust, but this historian has an eye for small, telling details, resulting in an intriguing book full of paradoxes and unlikely heroes."
--Tim Flannery "New York Review of Books "

"A history of breathtaking depth. . . . The Sounding of the Whale offers a telling reminder of just how much ideas matter, literally and figuratively, in the material relationships that bind the lives of humans to other animals with whom we share Earth."
--Gregg Mitman "Science "

About the Author

D. Graham Burnett is professor of history and history of science at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities and directs graduate studies in the Program in History of Science. He is an editor at Cabinet magazine and the author of four books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8511 KB
  • Print Length: 824 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (9 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071ARU78
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,006,144 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

Customer reviews

1.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is an unpleasant bias hidden in this superficially impressive work that denigrates the work of scientists: despite his protestations the author understands the political establishment and not, it would seem, the science which is neither explained nor evaluated. A marked distaste for the 1960s is apparent in the later section of the book, focussed on John Lilley. The context of the whale research reported in Burnett's book is distorted to make his point: by ignoring the work of scientists and conservationists in the 1970s and subsequent decades his description of the IWC, and the scientists, this book becomes a story of the politics of meat and not nature conservation.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but for unexpected reasons 14 Feb. 2012
By Michael W. Konrad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book, but maybe not for the reason you think. I thought it was a book about whales (which it is literally) but it's really about humans. Humans hunted whales for money and whale scientists studied the whales. After a few years the scientists realized that the hunters were killing far more than was sustainable. However, the scientists became dependent on the whalers to supply whales for study, and they became convinced that they couldn't demand that the yearly catch be decreased because then the whalers would abandon the International Whaling Commission and there would be no hope of regulation. In the middle of the story most of the whales are killed, and the killing stops (or at least is greatly inhibited) because of a Walt Disney movie for children in which a whale is the hero. Americans (mostly, maybe because they were not hunting whales and thus it was no skin of their backs) launch a campaign to stop the killing, Greenpeace is launched, Lilly writes books about the intelligence of dolphins, and since there is no longer much money in catching whales, it grinds to a slow crawl. The important lesson of this book is that the history of the politics of whaling is very similar to many other international problems, such as cigarette smoking, acid rain, global warming, etc. At first the groups that benefit from the activity deny the facts, then finally come (or are forced) to modify their behavior. Of course the story of global warming has several decades to play out. The book is not an easy read; after the first hundred pages I almost skimmed to the end, but fortunately didn't. The author writes like an academic historian (which he is), and some times the footnotes are 2/3 rds of the page. But soldier on, you will be richly rewarded. Don't be afraid to skim a little (at almost 800 pages even reading half of it is a bargain for the price).
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars an unpleasant book if you actually like whales 30 Dec. 2012
By Schmendrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A number of previous reviewers, although not the Amazon-listed "official" reviews, state that this book is not primarily about whales, and I believe this is entirely correct. That itself did not disappoint me, since I knew before purchasing this that Burnett was not a biologist, much less a cetologist. There are numerous other books by non-scientists about whales, such as Philip Hoare's superb work, that I have read with greatest pleasure. The very odd aspect of Burnett's book, which in the end I found extremely unsettling, is that you often end up feeling that he actually dislikes whales, or perhaps just considers that much too much fuss has been made over them, when history (and presumably historians) are so very much more interesting. There are too many examples to cite but I will take just one. Toward the end of the book, Burnett is discussing the role that popularization of the vocalization of humpback whales (e.g., the recording "Songs of the Humpback Whale") played in public opinion and in the effort to preserve whales (as wide-scale whaling was still underway.) Burnett, over a number of pages, chooses to disparage the idea that the vocalizations are even songs. Indeed, he can only refer to the vocalization in disparaging terms: whining, to take one example, and worse. Note that he never actually discusses what his criteria would be for judging something as a song - he just, in a remarkably snide fashion, decides that an attack on the aesthetics of the humpback sounds is interesting, pertinent, and/or balanced. This same feeling permeates a considerable part of what turned out, for me, to be a book that was unsettling for chiefly wrong reasons.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but stops short 15 Feb. 2012
By Flip Nicklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really looked forward to this book and pre ordered to get it as soon as possible. I enjoyed the read and got lots of great information about how we got to where we were in 1979, when I started covering research for National Geographic Magazine. The coverage of Remington Kellogg's role in early conservation efforts really opened my eyes. I just wish the last 20 years of the century were covered too. We have new tools and great researchers who have kept the study of living whales moving forward. Hopefully this work will be covered in a future book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very laborious, historical, but incomplete synthesis of ... 6 Dec. 2016
By Christopher W. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very laborious, historical, but incomplete synthesis of whaling and whale research, punctuated by a biased perspective on the modern science of whales or its role in ocean conservation.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best. 18 Dec. 2016
By Chupita - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a marvellous book on a marvellous subject. You should read it and focus on every line if you are interested in the ocean and the history which lead to its protection.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know
click to open popover