New Perspectives from David Nicandri on Captain Cook and the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:00 PM - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 7:00 PM

Thursday, February 11, 2021
7 PM / 4 PM PST

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
10 PM EST / 7 PM PST

On the WSU Press YouTube Channel


David L. Nicandri has been studying and writing about Captain Cook and the Lewis and Clark expedition for nearly two decades. The former director of the Washington State Historical Society, Nicandri is an expert in the history of the Pacific Northwest’s exploration phase. He is the author of two new books, Captain Cook Rediscovered: Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes and Lewis and Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver, and Mackenzie, as well as River of Promise: Lewis and Clark on the Columbia. He is the co-editor of another book on Captain Cook, Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage, and has written introductions, forewords, or chapters for titles by Ruth Kirk, Richard Neuberger, and Carlos Schwantes. He served as the editor of Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, from 1988 to 2011, and has published articles in numerous publications, including the Journal of American CultureOregon Historical QuarterlyPacific Northwest Quarterly, and We Proceeded On. Nicandri holds an M.A. in nineteenth century American history from the University of Idaho, and has received honorary doctorates from Gonzaga University, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of Idaho.


Captain Cook Rediscovered
Voyaging to the Icy Latitudes
David L. Nicandri

Captain Cook Rediscovered is the first modern study to orient Captain James Cook’s career from a North American vantage. Although Cook is inextricably linked to the South Pacific in the popular imagination, his crowning navigational and scientific achievements took place in the polar regions. Recognizing that Cook sailed more miles in the high latitudes of all of the world’s oceans than in the tropical zone, this book gives due attention to his voyages in seas and lands usually neglected, the second- and third-voyage discovery missions near the poles, where Cook pioneered the science of iceberg and icepack formation. This groundbreaking book upturns an area of study that has been typically dominated by the “palm-tree paradigm” – resulting in a truly modern appraisal of Cook for the climate change era.

Lewis and Clark Reframed
Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver, and Mackenzie
David L. Nicandri
Foreword by Clay S. Jenkinson
Published by WSU Press

Although the narrative surrounding the Lewis and Clark Expedition should have reached a crescendo as it moved west, it instead became strangely anti-climactic, focusing mostly on the Missouri River from St. Louis to the Mandan Villages—a route well-travelled and charted by previous explorers. Curious about why, David L. Nicandri became a literary detective, and found evidence their story had been restricted by standard interpretations and perspectives. His new book, Lewis and Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver, and Mackenzie, examines the Lewis and Clark Expedition beyond the Rocky Mountains, placing curious and seemingly inexplicable aspects of their story into a broader historical context, and demonstrating how earlier explorers—James Cook, George Vancouver, and Alexander Mackenzie, along with fur traders John Meares and Robert Gray—influenced the American captains.

Posted by Megan M.
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