Today in much of the world, whaling is the great taboo.Â People long to save the massive creatures of the oceanâ€™s deep.Â But when America was young and the earth's seas were teeming, the big juicy score, the fast money, was in whaling and Americans hunted whales with a vengeance.
In the heyday of high-seas whaling, adventurous risk-takers with their eyes on the golden prize set out on the high seas with full sail and harpoon, and crews making peanuts. They brought home the great whales and casks of ambergris and oil that made the nation's first fortunes and were a mainstay of the young American economy.
Author Eric Jay Dolin has traced back and recaptured that big money, high-risk, do-or-die, lightning-speed action of American whaling in a new book.
Listen to an On Point conversation with Dolin about the risky, bloody, storied business of Americaâ€™s great adventure with the whale.Can you recognize American derring-do and fortune building in the great age of whaling?Â Would you have been on those boats, harpoon in hand?