The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


Thar She Blows

Whale deaths are defying yearly averages on the East Coast according to the New England Aquarium, once again increasing concerns about our conservation responsibilities and the continued recovery of the species after nearly two centuries of whaling. Americans romanticized whaling through books like “Moby Dick,” even though whale hunting nearly led to the extinction of the sperm whale. On this episode, Brian, Nathan and Joanne explore how Native American whalers faced stereotypes within the industry, how whaling went from boom to bust, and learn how a real white whale named Mocha Dick became the inspiration for Herman Melville’s novel.

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