A Word with Writers: Hampton Sides
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We are excited to continue our literary collaboration with our second reading and discussion, this time with Hampton Sides, who is on tour for his new book The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook.
Mr. Sides will read from his new book, take questions from the audience, and sign copies of The Wide Wide Sea.
Two ticket types are available:
- $40: Individual ticket: Includes general admission for one person, a hardcover of The Wide Wide Sea, and a donation to the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation.
- $45: Bring a Friend: Includes general admission for two people, one hardcover of The Wide Wide Sea (to share with a friend/partner/etc.), and a donation to the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation.
From New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides, an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the Age of Exploration, which culminated in Captain James Cook's death in Hawaii, and left a complex and controversial legacy still debated to this day.
On July 12, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in his ship the HMS Resolution. Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach on the island of Hawaii, Cook was killed in a conflict with native Hawaiians. How did Cook, who was unique among captains for his respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, come to that fatal moment?
Hampton Sides' bravura account of Cook's last journey both wrestles with Cook's legacy and provides a thrilling narrative of the titanic efforts and continual danger that characterized exploration in the 1700s. Cook was renowned for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science—the famed naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied him on his first voyage, and Cook has been called one of the most important figures of the Age of Enlightenment. He was also deeply interested in the native people he encountered. In fact, his stated mission was to return a Tahitian man, Mai, who had become the toast of London, to his home islands. On previous expeditions, Cook mapped huge swaths of the Pacific, including the east coast of Australia, and initiated first European contact with numerous peoples. He treated his crew well, and endeavored to learn about the societies he encountered with curiosity and without judgment.
At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, The Wide Wide Sea is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.
Hampton Sides is the author of the New York Times bestselling histories On Desperate Ground, In the Kingdom of Ice, Hellhound on his Trail, Blood and Thunder, and Ghost Soldiers, which won the PEN USA Award for Nonfiction. He lives in Santa Fe.