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    History of whaling: tonight on tv (USA)
    From: Ellen M
    Date: 2010 May 10, 17:05 -0700

    People of NavList,

    Tonight's two-hour episode of "American Experience" is about the nineteenth century American whaling industry with many contributions from Mystic Seaport, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and other New England sources. It may be of interest to you NavListers?

    Heres a review:
    "Filmmaker Ric Burns [his brother is the more famous Ken Burns] presents an absorbing look at such men and the rise and fall of American whaling in "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World," which airs tonight on WGBH. He wrote, directed, and coproduced the program, which rises on tremendous research, much of it about America's whaling capitals, the Quaker communities of Nantucket and New Bedford.

    Burns mixes rich reporting on the industry with a sense of its darkness, myths, and danger. American whalers were the best in the world. They perfected the art of finding and killing whales and rendering whale oil in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    In the golden age, which ran roughly from 1820 to the early 1850s, our whale ships were ubiquitous, harvesting huge amounts of whale oil in the offshore grounds of the south Pacific, thousands of miles west of South America. With little to guide them, they became explorers and mappers as well."

    That's from the Boston Globe. Read the rest here:
    http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2010/05/10/the_lure_of_whaling_the_reality_and_lore/

    Another review:
    "In the right hands - as in historian Nathaniel Philbrick's award-winning 2001 book "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex" - this should be a pulse-pounding tale. (Philbrick is one of the many talking heads here.) Here, it's about as tense as a dog-paddle in a kiddie pool. The re-creations reflect either a lack of budget or imagination.
    [...]
    American whaling was ultimately sunk by the country's expansion west and the discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania in the 1850s.
    Burns' story has its moments, but it relies too often on static shots and exposition from a fleet of experts. This is one journey that would have benefited from a firmer hand at the helm."

    And that's from the Boston Herald. Read the rest
    here:
    http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/television/reviews/view/20100510thar_she_blows_pbs_whale_tale_is_lost_at_sea/

    Check your local
    listings.

    EM.
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