The Wake of the Whale: Hunter Societies in the Caribbean and North Atlantic


Product Details

$27.95  $25.99
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 0.9 X 9.3 inches | 1.41 pounds

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About the Author

Russell Fielding is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the HTC Honors College at Coastal Carolina University. A Fulbright scholar, he has been awarded fellowships from the Nansen Fund, the Faroese Research Council, the University of Montana Global Leadership Initiative, and the American Geographical Society and has been interviewed by National Geographic, PBS, and 18 Degrees North. He served as a consultant on two documentary films, The Archipelago, by Benjamin Huguet, and Faroe Islands: Message from the Sea, by PBS Frontline/World. Since 2005 Fielding has been studying artisanal whaling traditions throughout the Atlantic, with field sites in the Faroe Islands, Newfoundland, and St. Vincent.


Russell Fielding's multilayered assessment of artisanal whaling traditions unfolds as a riveting narrative. Readers entranced by the oceanic tales of writers such as Melville and Conrad will likewise find in The Wake of the Whale many colorful, firsthand accounts of seagoing experience to stir the imagination. Fielding's book is not only provocative, discerning, and solidly researched, but a real page-turner.--John Gatta, literary critic and author of Making Nature Sacred
A wonderful storyteller, Fielding guides us with sensitivity and insight through the cultural, scientific, and ethical complexities of humanity's long relationship with whales. In doing so, he illuminates the heart of our relationships with other animal species, both domestic and wild.--David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen
Russell Fielding compares whaling in two different communities and locations through a historical and sociocultural lens. He both respects the whalers, offering readers insight into the tradition, and honors environmental organizations protecting whales. A well-documented, well-written, and balanced book.--Jóan Pauli Joensen, University of the Faroe Islands
The Wake of the Whale is a truly magnificent piece of work, an epic tale of two worlds connected by North Atlantic currents and the creatures that navigate them. Artisanal whaling, an ancient communal practice, faces multiple threats in the Caribbean and North Atlantic territories, the largest of which may be the pollution of the ocean and its deleterious effects on biodiversity and health.--Priya Kissoon, University of the West Indies
The Wake of the Whale provides detailed historical, sociocultural, geographic, and political insight on a practice that is considered by many to be taboo. Readers, whether for or against whaling, will be challenged on many of the issues that underpin their positions. Some may even defect to the other side.--Janice Cumberbatch, University of the West Indies
The Wake of the Whale would be fascinating just for its rich ethnographic account of the history and present state of whaling in St. Vincent and the Faroe Islands. Yet, gradually, it also turns the mirror back on its readers, urging us to rethink our own attitudes to whaling.-- (11/08/2018)
An enjoyable read...The Wake of the Whale provokes numerous critical thoughts regarding the morality of different practices in post-domestic societies.--Benedict Singelton"Conservation and Society" (02/01/2019)
A rare mix of scientific and social insight, The Wake of the Whale raises compelling questions about the place of cultural traditions in the contemporary world and the sacrifices we must make for sustainability.--Mae Dorricott"Caribbean Compass" (06/01/2019)
A thought-provoking page-turner...Contributes to the literature of contemporary global cultural geography and environmental history by weaving together the landscapes of two geographically distant places and peoples.--Chie Sakakibara"AAG Review of Books" (01/10/2020)