In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is a book by American writer Nathaniel Philbrick about the loss of the whaleship Essex in the Pacific Ocean in 1820. The book was published by Viking Press on May 8, 2000, and won the 2000 National Book Award for Nonfiction. It was adapted into a film of the same name, which came out in late 2015.
Nathaniel Philbrick's sources included narratives written by three members of the crew of the Essex as well as numerous psychological and biological scientific studies that could approximate the extreme conditions experienced by the men at different points of the journey. Where the narratives of the three men lacked detail, he also brought in stories from other whaleships to offer the reader the fullness of narrative that they would otherwise have lost. In many instances, these stories also serve to show how close the men were to salvation at several moments in their voyage home.