Discoveries: The Voyages of Captain Cook by Nicholas Thomas
Captain James Cook's great voyages marked the end of an era in world history. As he sailed into Hawaii in January 1778 he made contact with the last of the human civilizations to grow up independently of the rest of the world. But equally for the Polynesians and Melanesians of the Pacific, Cook's arrival in their midst merely marked a further (if disastrous) twist in diverse histories already many centuries old.
In this immensely enjoyable and absorbing book Cook's journeys are reimagined, attempting to leave behind (or master) our later preoccupations to let us see what Cook and his associates experienced and what the societies he encountered experienced - from the Beothuks of Newfoundland to the Tongans of the Friendly Islands.
"Rich, vivid and deeply provocative, Thomas's work combines premiere adventure story with thorough history and intensive sociology"- Publishers Weekly