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Eye of the Whale: Epic Passage From Baja To Siberia
by Dick Russell
Island Press, 2001
Paper: 978-1-55963-088-7 | eISBN: 978-1-59726-948-3

Named a Best Book of the Year by three major newspapers upon its initial publication, and now available for the first time in paperback, Eye of the Whale offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and natural history as Dick Russell follows the migration of the gray whale from Mexico's Baja peninsula to the Arctic's Bering Strait.

Originally named "Devil-fish' by nineteenth-century whalers, the gray whale's friendly overtures toward humans over the past generation helped to spark the growth of today's whale-watching industry. This majestic marine mammal has also become a focus of controversy, as environmentalists fought to protect its breeding area from industrial development, some protested renewed hunting by a Native American tribe, and, more recently, scientific studies have noted a new decline in the whale's population.

Russell's narrative interweaves the remarkable story of Charles Melville Scammon, a nineteenth-century whaling captain responsible for bringing gray whales to the brink of extinction, whose change of heart led to his becoming a renowned naturalist. Retracing Scammon's path, the author encounters contemporary marine biologists who have devoted their lives to studying the gray whale, and native peoples for whom subsistence whale hunting means survival in the most remote regions of the North Pacific.

Called "an extraordinary book" by The Washington Post, Eye of the Whale is a stirring account of a creature that is changing our consciousness about the relationship between human beings and the animal kingdom.

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