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Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World

Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World

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Item Number:
PBS AMX62208
120 min.
Closed Caption:
Grade Level:
Grades 9-12
America, Whaling, and the World Equal parts fantastic sea adventure, mythic saga of man versus beast, and cautionary economic and environmental tale, Ric Burns' Into the Deep is the thrilling, epic story of three centuries of whaling and the unique relationship between American whalers and the giant creatures they hunted. These mysterious, mammoth beings—both revered and reviled—fueled the expansion of the American economy and enabled Nantucket, a backwater Massachusetts colony settled by religious refugees, to become a capitalist power on a grand and global scale. At the height of the whaling industry, U.S. whaleships encircled the globe, a massive state-of-the-art fleet crewed by highly-skilled mariners whose ever-widening search for prey enabled them to chart the seven seas. Once slaughtered for the precious oil that filled their massive heads—a high-quality illuminant that lit the drawing rooms of Europe and greased the wheels of the Industrial Revolution—these magnificent creatures once again have a role to play at the new struggle to supply to our energy needs. As man continues to exploit resources and hunt species out of existence, this look at whaling's past is stark reminder of not only the volatility of the global marketplace but the danger of viewing the planet and its creatures as commodities.

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