Over the course of the twentieth century, our understanding of and relationship to whales underwent astonishing changes. With The Sounding of the Whale, D. Graham Burnett tells the fascinating story of the transformation of cetaceans from grotesque monsters, useful only as wallowing kegs of fat and fertilizer, to playful friends of humanity, bellwethers of environmental devastation, and, finally, totems of the counterculture in the Age of Aquarius. A sweeping history, grounded in nearly a decade of research, The Sounding of the Whale tells a remarkable tale of how science, politics, and simple human wonder interwined to transform the way we see these behemoths from below.
D. Graham Burnett is professor of history and history of science at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities and directs graduate studies in the Program in History of Science. He is an editor at Cabinet magazine and the author of four books.