Drawing on literary masterworks and riveting firsthand narratives, travel writing and natural science, memoir and journalism, American Sea Writing captures the full sweep of America's maritime experience. From voyagers of the 17th century to ecological dilemmas of the 20th, from Cotton Mather and Washington Irving to Peter Matthiessen and Barry Lopez, the collection casts our national story in a new and revealing light. Here are many of our greatest writers: Cooper inventing the sea novel, Emerson on an Atlantic crossing; Poe recasting the Flying Dutchman legend; Whitman, Melville, Stephen Crane, Jack London, Eugene O'Neill, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway all mining their sea experiences in vivid writing. Here too are dramatic eyewitness accounts: William Bradford on the Mayflower; Olaudah Equiano on a slave ship; Captain Cook's death on a Hawaiian beach; Lewis and Clark sighting the Pacific; the wreck of the Essex and the Globe mutiny; Joshua Slocum's solo voyage; William Beebe's deep-sea descent: John McPhee on the continuing vulnerability of ships today. Throughout are neglected works of remarkable power: Celia Thaxter on the desolate New England seacoast; Lafcadio Hearn's lush Gulf Coast seascapes; Henry Beston's meditation on waves; Rachel Carson exploring the interaction of sea and land; Joseph Mitchell's startling essay on what lies beneath New York harbor. American Sea Writing is a unique literary voyage in the company of some of our greatest writers.