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White-Jacket, or the World in a Man-Of-War (Classics of Naval Literature)

White-Jacket, or the World in a Man-Of-War (Classics of Naval Literature) (Hardcover) by Herman Melville (Author)

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Summary

From the Inside Flap

One of Melville's most popular novels during his lifetime-and the subject of renewed interest in recent decades-White-Jacket is both a brisk sea adventure and a powerful social critique. Based on Melville's own experiences, it explores the fascinating and often harrowing world of a naval fighting ship, the Neversink. The ship becomes for Melville a microcosm of America itself; its hierarchy, social divisions, and cruel practices suggest larger injustices, including slavery.

Contemporary and Early Reviews

"Critical Notice" from the April 1850 issue of The American Whig Review

"Notice of New Books" from the April 1850 issue of The United States Democratic Review

Other Reviews

5 out of 5 stars Second to one, October 25, 2004

By M. Nesbit "One reader" (Daly City, CA USA) (REAL NAME)    

This review is from: White-Jacket: or, The World in a Man-of-War (Modern Library Classics) (Paperback)

This book is second only to Moby-Dick in the list of Melville's greatest works. And Melville's greatest works are America's greatest works.

White-Jacket has it all; humor, pathos, poetry and philosophy. This book makes me not only admire Melville the author but love Melville the man.

To suggest that the book would be better off without its "sermons" against cruelty in the Man-of-War's world is to suggest that Melville should have written some other book. He didn't write that book, he wrote this one and this is the one he wanted us to read. God bless him.

4 out of 5 stars "hull the blockheads, whether they will or no." (ch. 45), October 17, 1999

By A Customer

This review is from: White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War: Volume Five, Scholarly Edition (Melville) (Paperback)

This is the second of three books Melville published in quick succession--after Redburn in 1849, and before Moby-Dick in 1851. If you read them in that order, you can actually witness Melville's powers as an author growing. White-Jacket has passages that approach the difficulty of Moby-Dick, but it also has not a few chapters that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. It's not the best of Melville, but it is certainly brilliant! (Smokers, and non-smokers alike, should take a look at ch.91)

5 out of 5 stars awesome, November 30, 1999

By A Customer

This review is from: White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War: Volume Five, Scholarly Edition (Melville) (Paperback)

Fascinating, entertaining account of life on a man-of-war. Hilarious in parts; always subversive. Melville's mock glorification of the U.S. Navy and its officers is brilliant.


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