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CSH Whaling Museum to Host Historic Book Club

By Mitch Baxter

The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum is founding a new Book Club that will arouse the interest of young and old alike, with tales of the sea and the lives of whalers.

The club will run from February to April, and will meet at the museum each month for a guided discussion of three books, plus a tour of related exhibits and artifacts.

The first book - "Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy" - will highlight the lives and experiences of African-American whaling captains and the racially-diverse whaling industry. The museum's new exhibit, "Whalers of the African Diaspora," will be tied-into the readings.

The whaling industry was the first racially integrated industry in US history, and the whaling industry was the largest employer of African Americans, with estimates that between one-quarter and one-third of all the American whaling crews were people of color.

The second book - "In the Heart of the Sea" - is about the 1820 loss of the whale ship which inspired New Yorker Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. That book reading will be accompanied by an exploration of the museum's fully equipped historic whaleboat - the only such original vessel on display in New York.

The third book - "Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates" - will explore the golden age of piracy, with a tie-in to the artifacts of a Huntington shipbuilder who became a privateer during the War of 1812.

Registration is $15 per event; free for museum members and South Huntington Library patrons. For more information, check out:


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