White-Jacket, or the World in a Man-of-War

White-Jacket, or the World in a Man-of-War

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In 1843, after three years of voyaging in the South Seas, Melville signed up as an ordinary seaman on the man-of-war United States , and headed for home. What he observed on that trip formed the basis of White-Jacket , a success both as a story and as an expose of certain naval practices of which the public was only dimly aware. Melville's subtitle, The World in a Man-of-War, points to its broad theme: the autocratic, male regime aboard the Neversink is perhaps no more than a microcosm of pre-Civil War America. But under his scandalized liberalism, his desire to expose and to reform a barbaric system which reflects badly on the Declaration of Independence, runs an unspoken connection. The treatment meted out to the white men on the man-of-war is the same as that experienced by black slaves in every state. With hindsight, Melville's novel is double-edged.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 736 pages
  • 148.84 x 215.9 x 44.45mm | 730.28g
  • Annopolis, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0870217887
  • 9780870217883

About Herman Melville

Herman Melville (1819 -1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention, the first,Typee, becoming a bestseller, but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the `Melville Revival' in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially -Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. In 1919 the unfinished manuscript for his novella Billy Budd was discovered by his first biographer. He published a version in 1924 which was quickly acclaimed by notable British critics as another masterpiece of Melville's. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.
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Rating details

678 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 26% (174)
4 38% (260)
3 26% (174)
2 8% (53)
1 3% (17)
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