Maritime Books & Resources | Recommended Reading

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A small selection of favorite maritime books and resources on New England’s rich seafaring history, ordered by publication date …

New England and the Sea
Robert G. Albion, William A. Baker, Benjamin W. Labaree
Mystic Seaport Museum, 1970

America and the Sea: A Maritime History
Benjamin W. Labaree et al.
Mystic Seaport Museum, 1998

Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail
W. Jeffrey Bolster
Harvard University Press, 1998

Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African American Whalers
Patricia C. McKissack, Frederick L. McKissack
Scholastic Press, 1999

Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, 19th-Century Women at Sea
Joan Druett
Simon & Schuster, 1999

Captain Ahab Had a Wife: New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720–1870
Lisa Norling
University of North Carolina Press, 2000

Down East: A Maritime History of Maine
Lincoln P. Paine
Tilbury House Publishers, 2000

Young Men and the Sea: Yankee Seafarers in the Age of Sail
Daniel Vickers, Vince Walsh
Yale University Press, 2000

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragendy of the Whaleship Essex
Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin Books, 2001

‘Cross-Grained and Wily Waters’: A Guide to the Piscataqua Maritime Region
W. Jeffrey Bolster, editor
Peter E. Randall Publisher, 2002

Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838–1842
Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin Books, 2004

Sea History’s Guide to Maritime Programs & Cultural Sites: New York Region
Joyce Riess, editor
National Maritime Historical Society, 2004

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin Books, 2007

The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisioned, 1600–2000
Alex Roland, W. Jeffrey Bolster, Alexander Keyssar
Wiley, 2007

The Slave Ship: A Human History
Marcus Rediker
Penguin Books, 2008

Final Voyage: The Story of Arctic Disaster and One Fateful Whaling Season
Peter Nichols
Putnam, 2009

Maritime Museums of North America
Robert H. Smith
C Books, 2009

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea
Philip Hoare
Ecco, 2010

Lighthouse Handbook: Hudson River & New York Harbor
Jeremy d’Entremont
Cider Mill Press, 2009

Lighthouse Handbook: New England (2nd Edition)
Jeremy d’Entremont
Cider Mill Press, 2012

The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail
W. Jeffrey Bolster
Belknap Press, 2012

‘A Bold and Hardy Race of Men’: The Lives and Literature of American Whalemen
Jennifer Schell
University of Massachusetts Press, 2013

The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World
Lincoln Paine
Knopf, 2013

Living with Whales: Documents and Oral Histories of Native New England Whaling History
Nancy Shoemaker, editor
University of Massachusetts Press, 2014

Maritime Web Sites
For other useful Web resources, see “When You Go” and “400 Years of Seafaring History.”

Institute of Maritime History

National Maritime Historical Society

National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program

National Park Service Maritime History of Massachusetts

New England Lighthouses

Old Salt

Portsmouth Marine Society Press

Salem’s Maritime Heritage

Ship Index

Vermont Sail Freight Project

WoodenBoat Magazine



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