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The three voyages of maritime exploration undertaken by Captain James Cook from 1768 to 1779 are perhaps the most famous of any in history. Filled with high drama, tragedy, intrigue, and humor, their stories have been told and retold for centuries. Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, investigates their enduring appeal by pairing the latest scholarly insights with extensive visual resources focusing on the people, places, and events of the voyages.
Jacobs is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. He recently completed a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses and is currently conducting research on the voyages of Captain Cook in the Pacific.
Cook's Second Voyage
With the fame brought about by the successful completion of his first voyage, Cook was now charged with solving one of the greatest scientific mysteries of the day. In 1772, he set off to sail further south than any man had done before to determine if a “Great Southern Continent” really existed. Cook also spent considerable time in the Polynesian Triangle from Easter Island to Tonga, inaugurating a new age of Western colonialism in the Pacific.
Justin Jacobs is also lecturing on these maritime topics in March 2022:
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