Jenninfer Schell juxtaposes and analyzes a wide array of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century whaling narratives. Drawing on carious studies of masculinity, labor history, and transnationalism. Schell shows how this particular type of maritime work, and the traits and values associated with it, helped to shape American literary, cultural and historical imagination. In the process, she reveals the diverse, flexible,. and often contradictory meanings of gender, class, and nation in nineteenth-century America.