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Nathaniel Philbrick

Biography

Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including THE PASSIONATE SAILOR, SECOND WIND and YAAHTING: A Parody.

In 2000, Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the Warner Bros. motion picture Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw and Tom Holland. The book also inspired a 2001 "Dateline" special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS "American Experience" film Into the Deep by Ric Burns.

Philbrick’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe. He has appeared on the "Today" show, "The Morning Show," "Dateline," PBS’s "American Experience," C-SPAN and NPR. He and his wife live on Nantucket.

Nathaniel Philbrick

Books by Nathaniel Philbrick

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Nonfiction

In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake --- fought without a single American ship --- made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.

by Nathaniel Philbrick - Memoir, Nonfiction, Sports

In the spring of 1992, Nat Philbrick was in his late 30s, living with his family on Nantucket, feeling stranded and longing for that thrill of victory he once felt after winning a national sailing championship in his youth. Was it a midlife crisis? It was certainly a watershed for the journalist-turned-stay-at-home dad, who impulsively decided to throw his hat into the ring, or water, again. With the bemused approval of his wife and children, Philbrick used the off-season on the island as his solitary training ground. On ponds, bays, rivers, and finally at the championship on a lake in the heartland of America, he sailed through storms and memories, racing for the prize, but finding something unexpected about himself instead.

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Nonfiction

In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, Benedict Arnold miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Nonfiction

Nathaniel Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a 33-year-old physician named Joseph Warren, who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill.

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Literary Criticism, Nonfiction

Nathaniel Philbrick skillfully navigates Herman Melville's world and illuminates MOBY-DICK's humor and unforgettable characters --- finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. 

written by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Edward Herrmann - History, Nonfiction

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster.

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Nonfiction

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.