Biography

Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School. He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yaahting, A Parody.

In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. In 1994, he published his first book about the island’s history, AWAY OFF SHORE, followed by a study of the Nantucket’s native legacy titled ABRAM'S EYES. He is the founding director of the Egan Maritime Institute and a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.

In 2000, he published the New York Times bestseller, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, followed by SEA OF GLORY, winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society, and MAYFLOWER, finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the "Today Show," "The Morning Show," "Dateline," PBS’s "American Experience," CSPAN and NPR.

Nathaniel Philbrick

Books by Nathaniel Philbrick

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Nonfiction

Nathaniel Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a 33-year-old physician named Joseph Warren, who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill.

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Literary Criticism, Nonfiction

Nathaniel Philbrick skillfully navigates Herman Melville's world and illuminates MOBY-DICK's humor and unforgettable characters --- finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. 

by Nathaniel Philbrick - History, Nonfiction

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.