Two Years Before the Mast

Two Years Before the Mast

Signet Classics
by Richard Henry Dana, John Seelye (Introduction), Wright Morris (Afterword)
Publisher: Signet Classics
Mass market paperback, 405 pages
Price: $7.95

In 1834, a young man, recently of Harvard, signed on as a common seaman aboard the brig Pilgrim for the perilous voyage around Cape Horn to California. During the next two years he recorded the singular joys and incredible hardships of a sailor's life in a daily journal that endures as one of the most vivid recreations of life at sea ever published. Conceived as a protest against brutal injustice, written to improve the sailor's working conditions, Two Years Before the Mast is a powerful portrayal of the testing of man's courage and endurance.

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Exodus Rating
FLAWS: Violence, mistreatment, occasional boredom
Summary: A Harvard scholar goes to sea and describes the beauty and the insufferable indignity and travails of life as a common seaman in this vivid memoir.

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