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White-jacket: Or, The World In A Man-of-war

by Herman Melville

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?We find in [Melville?s works] revolt and acceptance, unconquerable and endless love, the passion for beauty, language of the highest order?in short, genius.? ?Albert Camus

Book Description
So, with many odds and ends of patches—old socks, old trowser-legs, and the like—I bedarned and bequilted the inside of my jacket, till it became, all over, stiff and padded, as King James’s cotton-stuffed and dagger-proof doublet; and no buckram or steel hauberk stood up more stoutly.

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Oh, shipmates and world-mates, all round! we the people suffer many abuses. Our gun-deck is full of complaints. In vain from Lieutenants do we appeal to the Captain; in vain--while on board our world-frigate--to the indefinite Navy Commissioners, so far out of sight aloft. Yet the worst of our evils we blindly inflict upon ourselves; our officers can not remove them, even if they would. From the last ills no being can save another; therein each man must be his own saviour.

From the Inside Flap
One of Melville's most popular novels during his lifetime—and the subject of renewed interest in recent decades—White-Jacket is both a brisk sea adventure and a powerful social critique. Based on Melville's own experiences, it explores the fascinating and often harrowing world of a naval fighting ship, the Neversink. The ship becomes for Melville a microcosm of America itself; its hierarchy, social divisions, and cruel practices suggest larger injustices, including slavery.

This Modern Library Paperback Classic reproduces the definitive Northwestern-Newberry Edition.

From the Back Cover
“We find in [Melville’s works] revolt and acceptance, unconquerable and endless love, the passion for beauty, language of the highest order—in short, genius.” —Albert Camus

About the Author
Elizabeth Hardwick is the author of many books and essays, including Herman Melville and American Fictions (available from Modern Library Paperbacks). She lives in New York City.

Mary K. Bercaw Edwards teaches in the Williams College–Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program. Her books include Melville’s Sources.



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