America, Whaling & the World

Monday, May 10, 2010

Filmmaker Ric Burns tells the story of three centuries of American whaling. His documentary "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World" reveals how whaling helped fuel the expansion of the American economy, pushed tiny backwater ports like Nantucket and New Bedford to the center of the whaling world, and was the first truly global enterprise America ever knew. "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World" Premieres on PBS Monday, May 10, at 9:00 pm.


Ric Burns
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Comments [4]

Alvin from Manhattan

Re the discussion of ambergris at the end of this segment: Although ambergris is regurgitated indigestible seafood parts, it is not collected from the whale. It is found floating on the ocean surface, where months of exposure to sunlight changes the "vomit" into ambergris. I think it is the only ethical animal product allowed in perfume by the U.S. and many other countries. (The "musk" and "civet" are now synthesized.) Natural ambergris is still used in some of the better perfumes.

May. 10 2010 01:12 PM
Sandra from Astoria

I LOVE "Moby Dick"!!! It's sad to me that most Americans have not read this American classic. Yes it's long but it's very fun to read, and it really is VERY detailed about the technical aspects of whaling as well as being poetic, metaphysical, AND funny.

May. 10 2010 12:58 PM
cj from NY

It's disgusting to hear during lunch. Would have appreciated a warning.

May. 10 2010 12:53 PM
james hyatt from princeton, nj

For further information on whaling, this book

Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America
by Eric Jay Dolin is great.

It can be read as a complete textbook in economics: invention, competition, antitrust, price fixing, world trade, politics ... it traces whaling from its beginning to the last whaling ship.

May. 10 2010 12:45 PM

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