Eric Jay Dolin

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Eric Jay Dolin

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Born
in Queens, New York, The United States
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Member Since
July 2009

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I love telling dramatic, sometimes wondrous, and often tragic stories about people, commerce, maritime history, and the environment. My goal is to entertain and inform, and leave people glad that they took the time to read one of my books.

My most recent book is Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates (Liveright (a division of W. W. Norton), September 2018). Before that I wrote Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse (Liveright (a division of W. W. Norton), April 2016), received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, and was heralded as "terrific" by Entertainment Weekly, "fascinating" by the Seattle Times, and "splendid history" by the St. Louis Post-Dispatc
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Eric Jay Dolin I love the process of researching a topic, and finding fascinating facts and themes, and weaving them into a story that people don't want to put down.…moreI love the process of researching a topic, and finding fascinating facts and themes, and weaving them into a story that people don't want to put down. When I get excited about what I am writing, I am fairly confident that readers will be excited too. I also love the freedom of pursuing topics that are of interest to me, things I want to learn about. Of course, I am not totally free to pursue any idea. If I can't get a publisher to give me a contract, then I won't be able to write the book (although I have self-published once, I prefer working with an established publishing house). Finally, I love it when people read something I wrote, and tell me they like it. There is something very elemental and satisfying to get reinforcement that you are writing books people want to read, and which they enjoy. (less)
Eric Jay Dolin I don't get writer's block, if you mean not being able to write at all. What is far more common is getting writer's fatigue for lack of a better word.…moreI don't get writer's block, if you mean not being able to write at all. What is far more common is getting writer's fatigue for lack of a better word. There are times when the words do not flow as easily, and my writing isn't as good as I want it to be, and know it can be. When that happens, I either switch to research, take a break, or just power through, realizing that eventually I will get back into a groove. Since I am a full-time writer, and this is how I earn my living, I don't have the luxury of not writing for long stretches. Whether or not I feel good, or have inspiration, I have to write. Fortunately, most of the time, I enjoy the writing process, and things go fairly smoothly. (less)
Average rating: 3.89 · 3,183 ratings · 492 reviews · 15 distinct worksSimilar authors
Leviathan: The History of W...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,036 ratings — published 2007 — 12 editions
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Black Flags, Blue Waters: T...

3.79 avg rating — 816 ratings — published 2018 — 7 editions
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Brilliant Beacons: A Histor...

4.07 avg rating — 296 ratings — published 2016 — 6 editions
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Fur, Fortune, and Empire: T...

3.77 avg rating — 518 ratings — published 2010 — 9 editions
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When America First Met Chin...

3.82 avg rating — 401 ratings — published 2012 — 4 editions
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A Furious Sky: The Five-Hun...

4.11 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 2020 — 3 editions
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Smithsonian Book of Nationa...

4.57 avg rating — 14 ratings — published 2003 — 2 editions
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3.70 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 2003
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More books by Eric Jay Dolin…

Smithsonian Article featuring A Furious Sky, a new book on hurricanes

My book on hurricanes, A Furious Sky, publishes on August 4. Here is a recent Smithsonian Magazine article that features the book. It's a fun read.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histor...

A Furious Sky The Five-Hundred-Year History of America Read more of this blog post »
1 like ·   •  1 comment  •  flag
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Published on July 31, 2020 06:47 Tags: bestseller, dolin, history, hurricanes, meteorology, severe-weather, weather

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Eric Jay Dolin wrote a new blog post

Smithsonian Article featuring A Furious Sky, a new book on hurricanes

My book on hurricanes, A Furious Sky, publishes on August 4. Here is a recent Smithsonian Magazine article that features the book. It's a fun read.

ht Read more of this blog post »
Eric Dolin entered a giveaway
The King of Confidence by Miles Harvey
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" As my mother often says, "from your mouth to God's ears." I am an optimistic pessimist, and always hope for the best! Eric "
Eric Dolin answered a question about Black Flags, Blue Waters:
Black Flags, Blue Waters by Eric Jay Dolin
It is history, non-fiction. Here is a review that just came out from Sea History Magazine, and some other pre-pub reviews.

"Black Flags, Blue Waters is a fast-paced scholarly narrative about seamen who turned rogue to terrorize the seventeenth- and e See Full Answer
" Thanks for your congratulations, and for sharing the quote. Hope to see you on the tour! All the best, Eric "
Eric Jay Dolin is accepting questions on his profile page.
Brilliant Beacons by Eric Jay Dolin
"very interesting. The author of this book did a lot of research. Good job"
Brilliant Beacons by Eric Jay Dolin
"Fascinating book full of factual, historical details. Anyone who smiles at the sight of a lighthouse must read this book. Beautifully written, with loads of photographs. Highly recommend. "
Brilliant Beacons by Eric Jay Dolin
"What a great book about lighthouses. Who knew the history behind them was so complex? We have probably all heard about how the lighthouses and the keepers saved ships at sea, but the keepers of the lighthouses were responsible for so much more.

This " Read more of this review »
" I just found out that FUR, FORTUNE, AND EMPIRE received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Here is part of it: "Who'd think you could write a hi ...more "
More of Eric's books…
“The heroic and often tragic stories of American whalemen were renowned. They sailed the world’s oceans and brought back tales filled with bravery, perseverance, endurance, and survival. They mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, sang, spun yarns, scrimshawed, and recorded their musings and observations in journals and letters. They survived boredom, backbreaking work, tempestuous seas, floggings, pirates, putrid food, and unimaginable cold. Enemies preyed on them in times of war, and competitors envied them in times of peace. Many whalemen died from violent encounters with whales and from terrible miscalculations about the unforgiving nature of nature itself. And through it all, whalemen, those “iron men in wooden boats” created a legacy of dramatic, poignant, and at times horrific stories that can still stir our emotions and animate the most primal part of our imaginations. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme,” proclaimed Herman Melville, and the epic story of whaling is one of the mightiest themes in American history.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

“American whale oil lit the world. It was used in the production of soap, textiles, leather, paints, and varnishes, and it lubricated the tools and machines that drove the Industrial Revolution. The baleen cut from the mouths of whales shaped the course of feminine fashion by putting the hoop in hooped skirts and giving form to stomachtightening
and chest-crushing corsets. Spermaceti, the waxy substance from the heads of sperm whales, produced the brightest- and cleanest-burning candles the world has ever known, while ambergris, a byproduct of irritation in a sperm whale’s bowel, gave perfumes great staying power and was worth its weight in gold.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

“Over time, it is all too common for people to lose touch with their heritage, as the thrill and immediacy of the present crowds out the echoes and lessons of the past. It would be a shame if that were to happen with respect to the fur trade. It is a seminal part of who we are as a nation, and how we came to be.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America

Topics Mentioning This Author

“The heroic and often tragic stories of American whalemen were renowned. They sailed the world’s oceans and brought back tales filled with bravery, perseverance, endurance, and survival. They mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, sang, spun yarns, scrimshawed, and recorded their musings and observations in journals and letters. They survived boredom, backbreaking work, tempestuous seas, floggings, pirates, putrid food, and unimaginable cold. Enemies preyed on them in times of war, and competitors envied them in times of peace. Many whalemen died from violent encounters with whales and from terrible miscalculations about the unforgiving nature of nature itself. And through it all, whalemen, those “iron men in wooden boats” created a legacy of dramatic, poignant, and at times horrific stories that can still stir our emotions and animate the most primal part of our imaginations. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme,” proclaimed Herman Melville, and the epic story of whaling is one of the mightiest themes in American history.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

“Over time, it is all too common for people to lose touch with their heritage, as the thrill and immediacy of the present crowds out the echoes and lessons of the past. It would be a shame if that were to happen with respect to the fur trade. It is a seminal part of who we are as a nation, and how we came to be.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America

“American whale oil lit the world. It was used in the production of soap, textiles, leather, paints, and varnishes, and it lubricated the tools and machines that drove the Industrial Revolution. The baleen cut from the mouths of whales shaped the course of feminine fashion by putting the hoop in hooped skirts and giving form to stomachtightening
and chest-crushing corsets. Spermaceti, the waxy substance from the heads of sperm whales, produced the brightest- and cleanest-burning candles the world has ever known, while ambergris, a byproduct of irritation in a sperm whale’s bowel, gave perfumes great staying power and was worth its weight in gold.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

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