A Whale Hunt: How a Native-American Village Did What No One Thought It Could
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Whale Hunt: How a Native-American Village Did What No One Thought It Could

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  10 reviews
For centuries the hunting of the whale was what defined the Makah, a Native American tribe in Neah Bay, but when commercial whaling drove the gray whale to near extinction in the 1920s, the Makah voluntarily discontinued their tradition and hung up their harpoons. In 1994, after the gray whale was taken off the endangered species list, the Makah decided to hunt again. The...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 16th 2002 by Scribner (first published January 1st 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 146)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Chana
The Makah Indian Tribe hunts a whale, which is their right by treaty.
The Save the Whales people and other anti-whaling people try their best to stop the hunt.
This is big news in every country that has hunted whales.
But the IWC has given permission. So the Makah Indians try to learn how to whale like their ancestors. They practice and pray and argue. Not every Makah Indian is in favor of whale hunting, not every white person is against. But the situation does stir up a lot of anti-Indian sentim...more
Andy
As a sometimes PETA donor, I approached this book steadfastly opposed to the idea of a modern whale hunt—Native American or otherwise—but through Robert Sullivan’s sympathetic account of the Makah tribe, I found myself gradually warming to the Makah’s plan.

Sullivan account is moving, in part, because he embeds himself in the life of the tribe— hanging out with the young men as they train for the hunt, paling around with the support crew, sleeping in a leaky tent at the edge of town, taking his m...more
Kenno82
found this book in a local second-hand bookstore. I knew nothing of the Makah tribe or the whale hunt, but knew immediately that the book would be a fascinating read. Native whaling rights in an age of vehement opposition to whaling was bound to be explosive subject matter.

The author doesn't sensationalise the issue. He lets the story unfold at its own pace, with humour. While he undertakes his own journey, including interludes on Moby-Dick, he does not preach a particular view. The story itsel...more
Ruth
I love the way the author winds his way in and out of the stories of all the people involved in the controversy over the hunt of the grey whale by the Makah people. He talks to the idealistic protestors, the organizers of the hunt, and everyone in between, while all the time inserting footnotes about Melville and Moby Dick and trying to see connections among these literary, symbolic and historic journeys. I didn't want the book to end b/c I like the way he thinks. I have to get to Neah Bay this...more
Charles Peter
I started this book, wondering how such a story could or should be written at a time, when Whales are so endangered, but getting into the mind and culture of this Indian tribe (the Makah)made me think, and made me rethink my whole way of looking at the earth and its problems. It is all a lot more complex than one could ever think. It also reads well as a travel book, though the writing is not always at an even level, but give it a read, and thrill yourself.
Barb
Non-fiction book retelling the tale of a modern day whale hunt. Author's style is somewhat slow and hard to continue to read, but the story itself is good. If you are interested at all in the issue of whaling, it's an important piece to read.
Crista
Amazing story. The middle of the story gets dry, but the overall book is an incredible look at a piece of hidden american society and struggle.
Richard
Might be one of my favorite books.
Dan
The New York Times Magazine article that her wrote on the subject will suffice. He doesn't have that much more to say on the topic, other than some personal anecdotes.
Pablo
ok. maybe it's not totally brilliant, but it is for the most part really well written and a great read. thanks to moe for the excellent suggestion.
Greta
Greta marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
JuliaC.
JuliaC. marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2014
Jess
Jess marked it as to-read
May 30, 2014
Nicole
Nicole marked it as to-read
May 15, 2014
Michelle Harris-shields
Michelle Harris-shields marked it as to-read
May 04, 2014
Lacey Holley
Lacey Holley marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2014
Brandon Gehres
Brandon Gehres marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2014
Jane
Jane added it
Jan 31, 2014
Molly
Molly marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
6414
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Robert Sullivan is the author of Rats, The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, and most recently, The Thoreau You Don’t Know. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York magazine, A Public Space, and Vogue, where he is a contributing editor. He was born in Manhattan and now lives in Brooklyn,...more
More about Robert Sullivan...
Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City The Thoreau You Don't Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant Cross Country: Fifteen Years and Ninety Thousand Miles on the Roads and Interstates of America Lewis and Clark, a Lot of Bad Motels, a Moving Van, Emily Post, Jack Kerouac, My Wife, My Mother-In-Law, Two Kids and Enough Coffee to Kill an Elephant My American Revolution: A Modern Expedition Through History's Forgotten Battlegrounds

Share This Book