All of us at the Nantucket Book Foundation are Nat Philbrick’s biggest “advocates” for indeed he has been an extraordinary and active supporter of the Festival since it began. A special friend of our endeavor, his year round participation has been instrumental in our success; we are so very grateful.
According to Herman Melville in Moby Dick, Nantucket Island is about 26 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Surrounded by the sea, those of us living here have nothing but the greatest respect for its majesty and power, its role in the island’s rich whaling history, its navigable routes that link us to the mainland and the joy of being on the water/in the water and sometimes windsurfing above the water! As islanders, we share this special bond and recognize one another as fraternal colleagues in the faraway island (translated from Wampanoag) club.
Prolific historian Nat Philbrick is an islander also. He lives here and shares this love of the sea. An avid sailor and former sailing instructor, the sea is central in many of his historical narratives. It serves as a surprising center stage in Philbrick’s latest book, In the Hurricane’s Eye. Unlike other accounts, Nat Philbrick puts the sea at the heart of the Battle of Yorktown. We learn that the earlier victory at the Battle of the Chesapeake was the game-changing win that Washington and the French needed to break the war’s stalemate. The Navy in the Revolution? Yes indeed. Washington understood, according to Philbrick, that naval superiority would end the standoff and bring victory to the colonists. His book details why “George Washington, a commander who otherwise seemed routed to his horse, was also a sailor.”
A masterful narrator of historic fiction indeed, Nat Philbrick will teach and fascinate the reader about the account of the Battle of Yorktown in In The Hurricane’s Eye.