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...
Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Pittsburgh. He went on to study English at Brown University and became Brown's first All-American sailor, winning the Sunfish North Americans. After getting his MA in American Literature from Duke University, he worked as an editor for Sailing World magazine and wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yachting: A Parody.
He moved to Nantucket in 1986 and published his first book about the island's history in 1994, Away Off Shore, which was followed by Abram's Eyes, a study of the Nantucket's native legacy. He was the founding director of Nantucket's Egan Maritime Institute and to this day, he is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.
In 2000, Philbrick published In the Heart of the Sea, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller and won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book was the basis for the 2015 movie of the same title directed by Ron Howard. It also served as the inspiration for a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 PBS American Experience film "Into the Deep" by Ric Burns.
His next book, Sea of Glory, was published in 2003 and won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. His next work, Mayflower, also made it to the New York Times bestseller list and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Award. It won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one of the ten "Best Books of 2006" by the New York Times Book Review. As of 2016, the book is in development as a limited series on FX. In 2010, he published The Last Stand, which met with comparable acclaim and was adapted into a television series.
Later that year, Philbrick served as an on-camera consultant to the 2-hour PBS American Experience film "Custer's Last Stand" by Stephen Ives. He went on to publish Bunker Hill: A city, a Siege, a Revolution, which is currently optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film adaptation with Ben Affleck attached to direct.
Today his work appears all over news and media outlets across the world and he lives a quiet life in Nantucket with his wife.